Tiziana Favi

Namo Ristobottega
Via G.B. Marzi 1, Tarquinia

The driving force in the Namo kitchen is love: love for the local area and local ingredients but also love for cross-contaminations and enriching differences. There is plenty of love and attention too for the small-scale local producers and other suppliers with whom they have a direct relationship. The menu changes seasonally but always bears the names of the products used and the producer, and many are available for purchase from the restaurant’s shop. A spirit of experimentation, reinvention, intermingling and love for the land inspires the cooking here.

“Canata,” from garden to table via tradition

The Tarquinia-born poet Titta Marini sings this traditional country recipe in one of his most famous poems. My decision to use it was based precisely on a desire to reproduce a typical local dish. Not to highlight special techniques or culinary skills but to promote a recipe many of whose ingredients have become Slow Food Presidium and Ark of Taste products over the years. Its key ingredient, for example, is the tomato, one of Italy’s best known migrant products, which arrived here from South America in the middle of the 16th century, when it soon became an essential part of the Italian tradition.

Canata is a simple dish that left plenty of scope for creativity to our grandmothers and their manual skills. It somehow encompasses the whole Slow Food philosophy, with which I identify a lot, especially as far as zero food miles, biodiversity protection and zero waste are concerned.

Ark of Taste: Piennolo tomato
Ark of Taste product: Allumiere yellow Bread
Migrant product: tomato

Serves: 4
200 g day-old Allumiere yellow bread
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste (I use a Caninese monovarietal)
400 g red piennolo tomatoes
50 g fresh water
50 g wine vinegar
Salt, to taste
10 leaves fresh basil
4 sticks celery, plus leaves for decoration
2 very fresh carrots
4 fresh radishes
1 fresh spring onion
100 g olives, pitted (I used the Taggiasca variety)

Roughly break up day-old bread and put it in a large bowl. Sprinkle with water and vinegar until soft. Crumble bread with your fingers until it is moist but not soggy (add extra water, if necessary), and reserve. Finely chop tomatoes and put in a bowl. Dress with oil and salt and leave to release their juices. After removing the tough strings, dice celery, together with carrots. Coarsely slice radishes and spring onion. Mix all raw vegetables and olives with tomatoes. Sprinkle softened bread with oil and salt, add vegetables, season with salt to taste and decorate generously with fragrant fresh celery and basil leaves. To give this simple dish a gourmet touch, blend some of the celery and basil leaves, emulsify with a splash of oil and sprinkle over the top.