Rustichella d’Abruzzo at Antiqvvm’s table

Since its opening, Antiqvvm, has been the stage to a wide range of themed dinners, where Vitor Matos chooses an ingredient or invites another chef with whom he shares his kitchen.

One of the last events combined both, joining the mastery of William Zonfa – a Michelin Star at Magione Papale in Abruzzo – and the excellent products from Rustichella d’Abruzzo.

Vitor Matos and William Zonfa

Rustichella is, as the name indicates, a company from the region of Abruzzo, producing several types of durum pasta since the 20’s, being nowadays one of the main references in the market, not only for the wide variety of products and formats, but mostly for the quality of the product. If you’ve cooked with them you can easly notice the difference from the most used brands. It’s for sure a great product, but just in case, we were in the right place to put them to test…

  After a toast watching the sunset in the amazing garden of the restaurant, we were presented with the concept of this particular dinner, as well as the brand, through Giovanni Gianni (exportations director).

Fregola Sarda with basil, tomato, and mozzarella fior di latte ice cream
And the party started with the dish that revealed as the simplest and most interesting of the night. Fregola (a type of pasta in the shape of little balls) cooked al dente, with an amazing sauce of fresh basil taste, enrichened with the tomato powder and elevated by the contrast of flavor, texture, and temperature of the mozzarella ice cream. An amazing dish of William Zonfa, in which all the elements stand out, by themselves, and in the combination.

DOP “Azeitão” cheese Ravioli with sage butter, black chanterelle and monks cress 
The first dish of Vitor Matos it’s also a version of one of his classics, here with the ravioli prepared with Rustichella’s flour and presenting an excellent texture and good combination of flavors where the highlight goes to the richness of the butter. Very good!

Paccheri stuffed with codfish “brandade”, clam stew, half cured cod and black pork prosciutto 
A dish in which Vitor Matos brought us Portuguese flavors combined with the Italian pasta paccheri, filled with a brandade a bit inferior to the codfish of good texture accompanying. A combination of several elements to the style of the chef, but where the final result ends up pleasing and surprising us. High score to the herb foam that is refreshing in a very rich combo of very Portuguese flavors.

Spaghettone del Leone with boletus, summer truffle and almond mousse 
Another William Zonfa’s dish, who in contrast with Vitor Matos worked with few elements in each of his proposals. A spaghettone of amazing flavor and texture, nicely paired with the other elements, in which only the summer truffle little or nothing added to the dish for its lesser quality – had it been a good black truffle in its season and we’d have a great dish here.

Classic Panettone Rustichella d´ Abruzzo with Azores caramelized pineapple, mascarpone, roasted peach with honey and lavender, white chocolate and Kaffir lime ice cream 
Another dish with a long list of elements, with highlight to the nicely worked fruits and the freshness of the kaffir lime ice cream, ending up with the panettone being a secondary and unnecessary element in the final combination. A good ending!

  Petit fours or Vitor Matos’ small jewels 

The harmonization of the dishes was in charge of wines from Abruzzo, that despite not being of great highlight in quality terms, worked well and some of them improved alongside the dishes.

The service was simple and with some typical flaws of these events where you need to serve too many people at the same time.

Final Remarks  
Rustichella d’Abruzzo assumes itself easily as one of the best pasta producers available in the market. And if the goal of this dinner was to present a brand and a product of excellence, that goal was more than accomplished, it’s not possible to stay indifferent to the quality of this pasta, even more, when worked by the hands of two starred chefs.

In my case, I believe I have to return to Italy to eat the Fregola Sarda with basil, tomato, and mozzarella ice cream again, at the William Zonfa’s Magione Papale.

Antiqvvm
R. de Entre-Quintas 22o – Porto
+351 22 600 0445
antiqvvm@gmail.com

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

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