Tommaso Bellante

La Cantinetta
Via Val Del Ru 11, Varena

Located at the entrance to the small town of Varena, surrounded by mountains, La Cantinetta is a typical Trentino restaurant offering traditional culinary specialties that seeks to highlight the best the local area has to offer. Respect for tradition is perfectly balanced by small touches of modernity and creativity, creating the unique equilibrium that distinguishes La Cantinetta.  

Stewed Tingola lamb faggots, curried fava bean purée, fanzelto (flatbread) spring roll

The faggot is designed to make the most of the lamb offcuts that would otherwise finish in the trash can and is covered in pig’s caul like mortandela, a historic cucina povera dish made with leftovers.

The fava bean purée is inspired by Middle-Eastern recipes (i.e. hummus) that are often served with meats such as lamb, and it is flavored with curry, which is now part of “traditional” food culture in dishes such as currywurst and in the sauce for luganeghete (sausages). The spring roll, inspired by the celebrated Chinese recipe, seeks to give a new lease of life to the local fanzelto.

Aside from using ingredients from faraway places, the dish is an attempt to combine and valorize the recipes and ideas of different cultures in an original manner.

For 1 bassoon
500 g Tingola lean lamb offcuts (or, if you prefer, leftover roast lamb or other lamb scraps)
1 yellow onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
aromatic herbs
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsps Tingola lamb jus
1 tbsp apple vinegar
salt and pepper
pig’s caul
sunflower seed oil, for greasing

Mince vegetables and soften in a skillet. Coarsely chop lamb and add to vegetables. Pour in a little white wine and allow to evaporate. Cover with stock. Cook until meat starts to fall apart and leave to cool. Season with salt and pepper and add aromatic herbs, a little jus, mustard and the vinegar. Shape into balls weighing about 160 g each. Wrap singly in pig’s caul, brown in oil and bake in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.

For the purée
500 g dried Leonforte fava beans
extra virgin olive oil

Soak beans for 12 hours. Rinse well and cook in water over a low heat for about 2 hours. Drain and blend with a little oil to a loose purée (add extra hot water, if necessary). Season with salt and curry powder and stir well just before stirring.

For the fanzelto
350 g buckwheat flour
600 ml water
seed oil, for greasing
2-3 spring onions
1 carrot
1 zucchini
200 g green string beans
(you can vary the vegetables according to taste and season)

Blend flour with the water and season. Heat a splash of oil in a non-stick skillet and shape 4 thin fanzelti (flatbreads). Peel and julienne carrot and zucchini. Blanch carrot, zucchini and string beans until al dente. Slice spring onions into rounds, sauté in extra virgin olive oil, add other vegetables and brown briefly. Season with salt and pepper. Divide vegetables between the 4 fanzelti, roll up and keep warm.

Spoon a little purée onto each plate, 1 fanzelto, cut in half, and 1 Tingola lamb faggot with a drop of jus.