Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A New Season - A New Menu Continues - Cannellone with Ricotta and Squid - Chef Salvatore Bianco, Il Comandante Ristorante (Na)

Our conversation began in the Beluga Sky Bar and Restaurant located on the 9th floor of Hotel Romeo.  A chat over a caffe' in which I learned quite a bit about Chef Salvatore Bianco's culinary background, his love of  Campania, and his respect for quality products and attention to detail.  The conversation moved from Beluga to the kitchen  and then the dining room of Il Comandante, the hotel's gourmet restaurant where Bianco prepared four dishes  for me that would appear on the Michelin star restaurant's menu very very soon.  (I wrote about his pasta with beans and mussels here)

So as the sun was setting, I ignored the spectacular view outside the window and concentrated on the plate in front of me.  A primo piatto - a first course pasta dish.

Cannellone, I was told.  Moving in closer I noticed that there was a lot going on in this plate,  and I had the chef by my side to answer my questions about every tasty forkful.
Cannellone - a single piece of handmade pasta stretched across the plate packed with flavorful buffalo milk ricotta cheese. lemon and spring onions.

Bianco added squid which had spent several seconds in a hot skillet.  Just enough time to curl up, remain tender and maintain it's salty sea flavor.  He even used the squids liver to make a creamy paste to accompany the dish.

The black disks?  A gelatin  that he made with a broth containing  the squid's black ink.

Dried peas were used to make the creamy sauce that the cannelloni sat upon.

A fantastic first sure to brighten up any autumn evening.
Certainly enough to draw your attention away from the bay of Naples...even if just for awhile.

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