Gianmarco Annulli

Ristorante Il Grillo è Buoncantore
Piazza XX Settembre 10, Chiusi

Il Grillo è Buoncantore was opened in 2001 by Tiziana Tacchi, a young chef and sommelier, in the main piazza of the small town of Chiusi. The Slow Food philosophy and the local surroundings offer the perfect combination of inspirations for the two chefs, who cook traditional dishes reinterpreted with a touch of originality. The menu changes seasonally and ingredients are selected from small-scale local producers and Slow Food Presidia from around Italy.   

Semifreddo di pappa al pomodoro canestrino, crudità di gambero killer marinato alla lippia e olio minuta di Chiusi su crema di aglione della Chiana

In creating this dish my aim was to promote Tuscany, my native region, with a classic summer recipe such as pappa al pomodoro, made with the Canestrino tomato, a new Slow Food Presidium; my local area, the Val di Chiana with Chiana garlic, which has been on the Ark of Taste for some years now; and my home town, Chiusi, with its native Minuta extra virgin olive oil, which is included in the Slow Food Oil Presidium.  

My “migrant product” is the killer prawn, a crustacean brought from its native Louisiana to Italy about 30 years ago by a group of Tuscan entrepreneurs who intended to farm it here. The prawn managed to escape, however, and, thanks to its tenacity and incredible resistance in and out of the water, to reproduce and populate a number of different areas, of the peninsula, including Lake Chiusi and the nearby Lake Trasimeno. It is now a regular ingredient in everyday recipes, among which traditional specialties such as tegamaccio (a soup similar to cacciucco but made solely with lake fish). The dish is served as part of our lake fish tasting menu, when the prawn is available, pappa is ever present n the summer, and easy to keep as they are, giant garlic and Minuta oil are an indispensable cornerstone of our local biodiversity all year round.

Semifreddo of pappa al pomodoro made with Lucca canestrino tomatoes (Slow Food Presidium), crudité of killer prawn marinated in lemon verbena and Chiusi Minuta oil on Chiana giant garlic (Ark of Taste) cream

Serves: 4
For the pappa
1 giant garlic clove
4 ripe canestrino tomatoes
1 bunch basil
3 slices day-old Tuscan bread
Chiusi Minuta extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

For the killer prawn crudité
10 killer prawns
1 bunch lemon verbena
juice ½ lemon verbena
Chiusi Minuta extra virgin olive oil

For the Chiana giant garlic cream
3 giant garlic cloves
600 ml milk
salt and pepper

Finely chop giant garlic and brown in oil in an earthenware pot. Cut and chop tomatoes and add to pot. Cook on a low heat. When tomato breaks up, add diced bread and whole basil leaves, dilute with a little warm water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook to a thick mush. Spoon into molds and blast chill at -18°C for a few minutes. Turn out pappa when it is almost frozen on the outside and creamy on the inside.  

Blast chill prawns for 24 hours at -20°C, shell and gut, and arrange in a bowl, alternating layers of prawns with layers of lemon verbena leaves dressed in a citronette (made with lemon juice, Minuta oil, and salt). Leave to marinate for a few hours in a cool, dry place.

For Chiana giant garlic cream, pour a third of the cold milk into a saucepan and add garlic. Bring to the boil, then repeat with another 200 ml of milk. Repeat again with the remaining 200 ml of milk (each “cycle” should take about 10 minutes). Season with salt and liquidize.

To plate, spread a veil of garlic cream on the base of a dinner plate and cover with alternating layers of pappa semifreddo and prawn drained of the marinade liquid. Anoint with a splash of Minuta oil and decorate with lemon verbena leaves.