The new trend of Italian cuisine? Italian-American cuisine
The new trend of Italian cuisine? Italian-American cuisine

Does a hundred years of history legitimize a tradition as such? More precisely, the Italian American cuisine can he claim his own identity? And, above all, be cleared through customs here too, in the mother country?

I know that with this post I am about to unleash the lowest instincts of those of you who like to lash out any dish that passes itself off as Italian without being born between the Alps and Lampedusa.

Which is also curious, because maybe you are the same ones who go to the Chinese restaurant and order spring rolls, while the coolest do not disdain the Japanese-Brazilian specialties.

To say that all gastronomic cultures, brought to another country, implement a form of adaptation to local tastes and ingredients. By creating something new and, not infrequently, good.

Because the result is not necessarily despicable and, personally, the rest of the idea that an excellent plate of fettuccini Alfredo cooked in a chic New York restaurant has much more dignity than a bad tagliatella with meat sauce served in a fourth-rate Bolognese tavern.

The key is execution. The challenge: to bring the dishes to levels of excellence that the emigrants who, in the early years of the last century, plowed the ocean in search of fortune would never have dreamed of. Making them appealing to even the most fussy (Italian) palates.

The summer game was launched by Al Cortile, the (beautiful, let me say it vah) place in Milan linked to the Food Genius Academy professional cooking school, set up for the occasion by Daniela Sagliaschi.

At the Courtyard
At the Courtyard

The reopening evening of the new season was dedicated to the cuisine of Little Italy, revisited by very Italian chefs and set up by the students of the school, a brigade of enthusiastic young people who are not at all perplexed to mix homegrown bases and Yankee recipes.

Forget Lady and the Tramp, sliced garlic in a cell with a razor blade, lunches and dinners in hundreds of films set in the world of "good guys".

Think, rather, of cold spaghetti (from Marquesan memory, I would say), perfectly al dente, on a spicy fresh tomato gazpacho, with breaded veal meatballs and salted ricotta mousse: spaghetti & meatballs, in short. Author, Felice Lo Basso (chef of Duomo 21 of the Town House Duomo, in Piazza Duomo).

spaghetti & meatballs, Felice Lo Basso
spaghetti & meatballs, Felice Lo Basso

Or, a chicken breast cooked at low temperature with concentrated tomato sauce, caper powder, parmesan fondue and panko with herbs: chicken parmigiana according to Eugenio Roncoroni. (chef owner of Al Mercato, in via Sant’Eufemia, 16).

chicken parmigiana by Eugenio Roncoroni
chicken parmigiana by Eugenio Roncoroni

Provocations, of course (for the record, they will remain on the cards in the coming months). Only inspired by the original “broccolini”, those that to us tourists in the Big Apple have always seemed like aberrations.

But you know that sometimes I like to go against the grain and so I ask you: what's wrong with putting meatballs in pasta when in Puglia you make orecchiette with horse chops?

And again: it is truly unimaginable to garnish the pizza with peppers and salami (strolghino, for the pepperoni pizza del Cortile signed Giovanni Mineo And Longoni bakery)? Would you seriously disdain here and now a mouthful of garlic bread fragrant with butter and garlic, lots of fragrant garlic?

Perhaps, in this global world, it would be good to knock down all the stakes. Starting with the gastronomic ones might already be a good idea. Or not?

Tell me: do you really believe that America’s uncle should have avoided getting rich by opening restaurant chains and limiting himself to the mafia & mandolin?

As an Italian, I prefer to be associated with mozzarella and pasta, rather than with a criminal organization.

Stereotypes die hard. What Italian-American cuisine is half crap should perhaps be archived once and for all.

Also because, trust me, you will still hear about it.

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