Tommaso Maio

Trattoria di Via Serra
Via Luigi Serra 9, Bologna

The concept behind the cooking at the Trattoria di Via Serra can be summed up as “using good things to make good things”: not far off from the “good, clean and fair” philosophy of Slow Food, from whom Tommaso and Flavio draw inspiration and ideas. Essential to them is their links with small-scale local producers, from whom they buy many of the ingredients used in the kitchen. They offer traditional dishes from the mountains, with a few light touches of creativity. Simplicity, kindness and a careful selection of ingredients drive their work.  

Baked fritters of zucchini, Modenese white cow’s ricotta and Navelli chickpeas (Abruzzo) with Taliouine saffron sauce (Morocco)

Serves: 4-6

For the fritters
600 g. Modenese white cow’s ricotta (Slow Food Presidium)
12 zucchini flowers (of which 4 to decorate)
4 medium pale zucchini
1 shallot
1 sprig mint (peppermint, if possible)
150 g Navelli chickpeas (Ark of Taste), soaked in water overnight
500 g day-old durum wheat bread, grated
80 g Modenese white cow’s Parmigiano (Slow Food Presidium)
2 eggs (1 whole + 1 yolk)
Italian extra virgin olive oil (Colletorto, Molise)

For the sauce
200 g Modenese white cow’s ricotta
30 g fresh cream
0.25 g Taliouine saffron

Prepare the sauce first.

Heat cream, immerse saffron pistils and allow to cool for a few hours.

Using a whisk (or hand mixer), whip ricotta, extra virgin olive oil and saffron-favored cream (complete with pistils). Put in the fridge.

To make the fritters, finely mince shallot and brown.

Slice zucchini into thin rounds, brown in a skillet with oil and reserve.

Combine ricotta, 2 eggs, Parmigiano, a pinch of salt and a twist of fresh pepper in a bowl.

Crush raw chickpeas with a knife or blitz in a food processor and add to bowl with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Add warm zucchini, roughly torn mint leaves and roughly torn zucchini flowers (pistils and stalks removed). Add a small handful of breadcrumbs.

Knead batter mixture to amalgamate ingredients, being careful to keep each easily recognizable. Season with salt to taste.

Cover batter mixture and put in the fridge for at least half an hour (the fritter are easier to shape when cold).

Shape mixture intro fritters 2 cm thick and 6-7 cm in diameter.

Scatter grated day-old bread (it must not be too dry) over a wide tray and coat fritters.

Arrange fritters in an oven dish and using a hand kitchen pump, drizzle the tops with oil. 

Heat oven to 190°C and bake for about 8 minutes until golden.