Defense of Made in Italy at Agrogeneration 2017

From October 11th to 13th, Bergamo will welcome a new edition of Agrogeneration, during the Agriculture G7, the summit on the future of food and agriculture. At the Aula Magna of the University of Bergamo, the event will be dedicated to the innovation of the agri-food chain: the main topics that will be discussed go from the territory (diffusion and protection of Made in Italy and the value of the production chains) to the importance of education for the health of humankind, until the crucial role of research.

Among meetings, insights and debates with industry experts, companies, startups, students, I Love Italian Food has also been called to give its contribution.
On Thursday, October the 12th, dedicated to the valorisation of the chain and innovation, we will focus on the agro-food business, organized by Future Food, Federalimentare, Confagricoltura, CNR and I Love Italian Food. The "Smart Production Chains" conference will be attended by various professionals and experts of the field: Alessandro Schiatti (CEO of I Love Italian Food), Alessandro Squeri (President of Young Entrepreneurs Federalimentare), Raffaele Maiorano (Chairman of Young Confagriculture), Pierluigi Spagoni Cibus - Parma Exhibitions) and Erika Andreetta (Partner PwC). From 11am to 13pm, we will focus on those technologies and platforms that, starting from the agriculture, take care of the management of food security throughout the chain, exploring new market and internationalization strategies that are the focus of logistics.

The day will end with the Contadinner of Vazapp, an agora that highlights stories and people, born to welcome young people who, thanks to the relationship and the exchange of knowledge, can become an inspiration and stimulus for the community. An opportunity to confront, deepen and discover in a full-fledged style on sustainability issues in the agri-food industry.

Il Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro takes over De Rica

Few weeks ago the historic brand De Rica has been taken over by our Associate Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro.

The Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro is leader in tomato cultivation and processing market, with a 100% Italian production chain that includes 370 associate farms that work 7,000 hectares of land along the Padana plain, and whose products are exported to 60 countries around the world, for a turnover of 230 million euros. Numbers that are getting together with the great reputation that De Rica, known for its natural and high quality products, can boast in Italy.

The operation, completed together with Generale Conserve, thus, guarantees that De Rica remains in Italy, bringing back the brand into its original production area and confirming the passage of another important Italian brand directly into the cooperative agricultural world, an expression of an Italian production chain with a strong bond with its territory of origin.

If on one side an important Italian agro-food production strengthen itself in order to stay stable in Italy, on the other there has been the news about the take-over of the Acetum, one of the leading producers of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, by the Big of English tea Twinings (also owner of Primark, the popular English clothing chain). Acetum produces balsamic vinegars, apple vinegars and sauces that are exported all over the world, with USA and Germany at the top.

Although the take-over was predictable and it is going to follow many other Italian agri-food companies' acquisitions (San Pellegrino, Perugina, Buitoni to Nestlé or Parmalat, Invernizzi, Galbani to Lactlais, only to name a few), such a lost has a bitter taste for us and those who try every day to promote the real Italian food all over the world.

I Love Italian Food discovers the real Ragù alla Bolognese

This year, the 2017 edition of Le Salsalmentarie will host the very first Ragù Festival to tell the country and the world anecdotes, history and flavors of the most famous local specialty in the city of Bologna. Also, I Love Italian Food, as digital media partner of the event, will be present to share with the world a part of the true Italian gastronomic tradition.

Ragù is a traditional recipe that comes from ingredients that have always been protected by Mutua Salsamentari 1876 and which, since 1982, is also defended by the Chamber of Commerce of Crafts and Agriculture in Bologna, which preserves the original recipe.

The 3 days program dedicated to the ancient traditions of Salsamentari and Ragù will develop within the beautiful Palazzo Re Enzo, located in Piazza Maggiore. You will be able to take part in a series of debates dedicated to the world of Bolognese gastronomy, with the participation of protagonists of the food culture and food reality of Bologna, who will bear their testimony on experiences and initiatives that can enhance the taste and tradition of the good petronian table.

During the festival, on the first floor of the Palace, in the Salone dei Atti, you will be able to taste and buy traditional rage proposed in different versions made by carefully selected exhibitors. Inside the room you will also be able to eat with traditional products. The event will also host Le Cesarine, which will do a fresh pasta show, performed on Saturday 23rd, from 6pm to 7pm and on Sunday, 24th September, from 3pm to 5pm, and will advise visitors interested in the ancient art of sfoglia (fresh pasta art).

The third floor of the Palace will be dedicated to the history, with courses devoted to deepening the traditions of Salsamentari and Ragù, with the presence of those publishing houses that over the years have contributed to the spread of Bolognese gastronomic culture.

Mantova Golosa: in Gonzaga with the "made in Mantua"

It’s a reference point in the agricultural world and at the same time it’s considered a big local festival for everybody: this is the historical “Millennial Fair”. A festival created to promote the richness of Mantua food and agriculture among a wide public, as well as to raise awareness about one of the most diverse agicultural realities in Italy, made of several high quality productions that cover a geographical area unique for its wide biodiversity.

The event has been held for more than 500 years in Mantua, precisely in Gonzaga, the ancient village, home of Gonzaga family.

The 2017 edition will take place from September the 2nd to the 10th, in a space of 120.000 square metres, with 50.000 m2 of parking lots and with more than 500 exhibitors, 300 of which from Lombardia.
The edition 2016 brought in the city more than 95.000 visitors.

Over the last years, the organisers of “Millennial Fair” have introduced a new project within the historical event, called “Mantova Golosa” that aims to give value the Mantua food and wine culture. The new project, during September 2016, has been able to turn the public’s interest on about Mantua territory, its products and its excellences with events, cooking shows, cooking classes with famous chefs, dinners, educational meeting with producers, and wine, cured meat, cheese tastings, all strictly “made in Mantua”.

“Mantova Golosa” expands within different activities, even outside of Mantua province and over the event days, with the aim of spreading and promoting the big wine and food heritage of Mantua territory.

QUALITY will be the keyword and the leit-motif of this year edition, and it will bring together all the food events of the festival: quality of crops, products, processes, and controls, in order to offer visitors/consumers the widest knowledge about the food and wine richness of the area. There will be four different meeting points set up to host more than 150 cooking events.

Area Events (Pad 0): Show stage where the public can enjoy the whole process of making and preserving products. Many chefs will perform: Simone Rugiati (Tuesday, September the 5th) will show some exclusive recipes created for the event, using at the same time the PDO Mantua cheeses, Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano. Beatrice Ronconi and Rubina Rovini (Masterchef Italia participants) will deal with the local Mantua flours, Lombardy meat and the Mantua Melon PGI. There will be also chefs from “Le vie del Riso e del Tartufo” (the streets of the Rice and the Truffle) and some other local representatives, such as pasta master Alessandro Aldrovandi and baking master Marino Tanfoglio.

Area “Taste Journeys” (Pad 0): this space has been created for a conscious street food, with food and wine journeys guided by the producers who will accompany the visitors by tastings, tips and anecdotes on the history, art and culture. In this area, it will be possible to see the opening of the very first Grana Padano wheel from the Goito stable meadows (a complete organic production), tasting frittata made with barn eggs, discovering some of Mantua excellences, such as special cheese or innovative mustards, and also the art of curing meats by tasting some ancient cured meats.
Moreover, ONAV (National Organization of Wine Tasters) will guide the visitor across the local wines, with 40 labels both of Mantua Lambrusco and northern Mantua area’s wines.

Area “Why Organic”: a space dedicated to the organic world and the Manuta territory’s biodiveristy. There will be specific moments to know more about the ancient and alternative flours, such as hemp flour. There will be also cooking shows based on wild herbs, from the starter to the dessert, fresh pasta and organic desserts classes, organic and byodinamic educational meetings.

Area “Home Flavors” about how and what to cook at home. A space where i twill be possible to learn how to make perfectly at home fresh pasta, jams, pizza or giardiniera (Italian pickles), with easy tips to impress your guests by setting the table in a creative and catchy way. You will also learn what to cook with the Sunday’s leftovers or how to prepare a perfect snack or an aperitivo with your friends. Don’t miss the appointments with the local butcher to know more about roasting and sushi meat, or again to learn the basic rules of pastry or fresh pasta, and the home cooking without gluten.

Furthermore, in order to enrich even more the festival schedule, Sergio Sylvestre will join the Millennial Fair on Thursday September the 7th, in Piazza Grande.

A great event to celebrate good food, conviviality, and shows.

The Millennail Fair in Gonzaga (MN) and Mantova Golosa staff are waiting for you!
Phone 0376/58098 - Fax 0376/528153

Saturday September the 2nd from 5 until 11.30 p.m.
Sunday the 3rd, Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th from 9.30 a.m. until 11.30 p.m. Monday the 4th, Tuesday the 5th, Wendnesday the 6th, Thursday the 7th from 5 to 11.30 p.m.
Friday the 8th from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. (free entrance for the outside spaces) and from 5 to 11.30 p.m.

Full price: € 8 on September the 2nd, the 3rd, the 8th, the 9th and the 10th
Discount price: € 6 on September the 4th, the 5th, the 6th and the 7th
Junior from 12–17 € 3
Free entrance until 12 years

Massimo Riccioli and the Italian sea in a plate

Massimo Riccioli is a fantastic chef specialized in seafood, a great fan of "Made In Italy" cuisine. His headquarters La Rosetta restaurant, just a few steps from the Pantheon in Rome, has always been one of the sacred temples of fresh seafood and synonymous of absolute quality.

1) The sea is at the center of your cuisine and your search for quality and fresh ingredients has brought you to travel around the world, from Europe to America. What does seafood cuisine mean for you?

Nice question, I like it. Well, sea food for me represents my own life... If we are what we eat I'm certainly a sea element. Since forever, seafood has always been present in my family and in my kitchen thanks to my father, a Sicilian who moved to Rome, a great chef and above all a great connoisseur of Sicilian seafood recipes. His way to feel close to his distant homeland was to remember the sea and its flavors. Therefore, for me to specialize in seafood recipes and to use so much fish mean returning to my origins and constantly feeding my roots!

2) How do your dishes take inspiration from Sicily, cradle of a great cuisine based both on seafood and soil product?

As I said earlier, I have a strong connection with Sicily, thanks to my father, but I would say in general to all my family. If I had to choose a symbol of this indissoluble relationship, I would mention Catania and its market (called Pescheria). I think there you can find some of the best flavors in the world and I'm not just talking about fish, but also vegetables, cheese, meat and anything related to the region, and of course the real made in Italy food. Love for Sicily has another secret though. As a family, we have been lucky because we always travelled in Sicily as guests of friends and relatives, in a land where the guest is really something sacred, getting special treatments. In those situations I learned a lot from the dishes and the mixture of flavors they brought to the table, just because they offered us the best recipes. Obviously we also treated the invitations back and whenever my dad went shopping at the local market I was with him. I've learned a lot since I was a child, first of all during grociery shopping, and of course, at the stoves, following his way of cooking.

3) What's your relationship with the guest at your restaurant, La Rosetta?

Clearly I try to build a very close relationship with my guests. I try to make them feel at home, also relying on the design and architectural aspects of this place, furnished in order to recreate an atmosphere that focuses on human warmth and not on the detachment between customer and restaurant. And then of course I tend to reinforce that feeling that leads me to take care of my guests with sacredness, according to the Sicilian culture. My purpose and hope is that my guests, once left the restaurant, can mentally retrace the memories and the pleasure of La Rosetta's sea flavors, from which they can get the greatest satisfaction. I also try to lure them in with good food... Anyway, many of my guests and customers have become friends over the years and I confess something: I listen to their advices and feedback. It's important.

4) What's in your opinion the strenght of made in Italy, of our food and our food culture?

I'll try to give you a non-academic answer, extremely sincere and, let's say, a bit critical. I think we should raise the concept of food made in Italy. I mean, it should respond to objectively high parameters. Unfortunately, over the last few years, we are experiencing a overuse this brand and, unfortunately, it undermines its meaning. The Italian cuisine is the highest point of food expression, but sometimes we are not aware of it. For example, we prepare typical dishes of our cuisine abroad with Italian products only in part, but in the end everything is proposed as "made in Italy food". This is wrong because it ruins our made in Italy. But even here in Italy we can find a way of using Italian products away from our culture. What I mean is that nowadays it's hard to find and recognize the true made in italy, the 100% Italian food. My philosophy is well known, I try to exalt the taste of Italian raw materials by following the preparation fees, looking for references to this specific region, to that specific place. That's why I also like to take care of the scent of my dishes, this is the true made in Italy for me. Certainly a made in Italy made of products, but also preparation, production, culture and regional references that Italians have in the blood.

5) Speaking of Italian food, one of the phenomena we face daily in promoting our cuisine is the Italian sounding. In your opinion, is there something that's missing in the defense of our food and that we should adopt to defend it? 

This question must consider a copyright issue that obviously refers to "Italian sounding". The Italian food heritage is unique in the world for quality and diveristy. We have the best oil and pasta, we have almost all plant species and we produce unique wines. All this is not just thanks to the raw materials because even the preparation criteria are unique and difficult to reproduce anywhere else. The Italian food culture and agri-food products are famous and appreciated everywhere but unfortunately also forged, and we know it well. I think we should create a very strict brand on Made in Italy, a kind of real and severe certification, otherwise anyone can write Made in Italy on a product and mislead the customer. So I'm thinking of certification authority with very detailed and precise rules, maybe an expensive stamp. Italy must target a high level market with its food. Quality has a price that whoever can afford will be happy to pay for. We have this quality but we need a further project that enhances the food, setting strict rules that certify the true made in Italy, otherwise counterfeiting will expand more and more.

6) What are your future plans?

Well, it is not easy to answer, given the global and lingering moment of uncertainty. I would like to keep investing in Italy, focusing on the quality of food, our products and young people. For example, La Rosetta restaurant, which represents my home, my reference point. We are thinking of enriching the lunch menu offer, focusing on innovations linked to seasonal products that carry our memory and culture. Lunches are fast and fleeting, quite often consumed during working hours, but we don't have to overlook them. See, for me food is also a way of taking care of our body through natural and healthy elements like fish, olive oil, pasta and even our wine. In other words, thrught Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. This has always been the real value for money, the best in the world, and I am really happy that I Love Italian Food association is promoter and ambassador of Italian food in the world, protecting and communicating it.

Penne all'arrabbiata

One of the traditional dishes of Lazio region and, more in general, one of the most typical Italian recipes is Penne all'arrabbiata. Indeed, this pasta dish is largely appreciated in its simplicity and represents a common meal within Rome's cuisine, made of simple, high-quality and genuine ingredients.

Thus, in order to prepare a tasty penne all'arrabbiata dish is better to find good and genuine Italian ingredients, looking for them among the different regions, for instance San Marzano tomatoes from Campania or Sulmona garlic from Abruzzo. How to prepare Penne all'arrabbiata?

  1. Place a big pot full of water on the heat and bring it to a boil. Then, add a handful of sea salt.
  2. In a pan, pour 3 tablespoons of EVO oil (in Lazio region, POD Canino or Colline Pontine Oil are very popular) and a chopped clove of garlic, from Sulmona or Apulia.
  3. In this recipe, it's very important to use high-quality ingredients.
  4. Cook the garlic until golden-brown, at low heat. Now add a bit of Italian hot pepper, taking care to reach exactly the desired degree of spiciness and remembering that the longer it will cook, the stronger the spiciness' perception will be.
  5. After few minutes, add the San Marzano tomatoes after having washed them, peeled and chopped in chunks.
  6. Keep cooking the sauce on high heat for about 5-6 minutes, then salt it to taste.
  7. Meanwhile, chop finely the parsley after having washed and dried it with a kitchen cloth.
  8. Drain the pasta "al dente" (following the cooking time instructions, consider 2 minutes in advance) and pour it in the pan with the sauce, tossing for a few minutes.
  9. Now it is ready to serve, with plenty of parsley spread on the top and eventually some grated Pecorino Romano.

Thanks to Italian Traditional Food

Purple Agnolotti del Plin with Black Truffle

Agnolotti del plin, also known as ravioli del plin, are part of the filling pasta family and they're similar to Piedmontese Agnolotti, which diversifies mostly in the shape. Indeed, agnolotti have a squared shape, while agnolotti del plin, typical of Langhe and Monferrato areas, are smaller and closed like a napkin pinched at its extremities (the name "plin", indeed, refers to the act of pinching the pasta dough to create the shape).

The agnolotti del plin are mentioned in the list of Italian Traditional Agricultural Products, thus protected by a production guideline of Piedmont Region. Even if this preparation's versions are various, according to family's recipes, towns, provinces, as for many other Italian traditional recipes, the most popular recipes to make agnolotti del plin are four:

  • with roast sauce
  • with butter, sage and Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano
  • with Piedmontese meat ragù
  • in meat broth


Piatto First Course
Cucina Piedmont
Prep Time 2 hours
For the filling
For the fresh purple pasta dough
For the dressing
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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  1. Mix together all the ingredients of the filling and put it in a sac a poche.
  2. Boil the beets and, once cooled down, mix with the eggs and the flour until you have a smooth dough.
  3. Melt the butter and let it fry slightly, remove from the heat and add all the other ingredients for the dressing.
  4. Now that we have all ready, roll the dough thinly, creating som long stripes. Using the sac a poche, place a bit of filling on the stripes and fold the dough in order to cover the filling. Remove the access with a pasta wheel cutter.
  5. Press the dough between each filling with your fingers, like a nip, and cut over there with the pasta wheel.
  6. Cook your Agnolotti in salted boiling water and once they're cooked, toss them in the pan with the dressing. Now serve.

Sbrisoline with Apricot Jam and Dark Chocolate

These mini desserts take inspiration from the traditional Mantua cake known as sbrisolòna, commonly produced and consumed in the whole Lombardia regione as well as Emilia Romagna and in the area of Verona city.

Its name comes from the word brìsa, which means crumb in Mantua dialect and it seems it was created during the Gonzaga kingdom in 1600. Indeed, the cake itself seems to be made of many dough crumbs that give the dessert a nice and crunchy texture.

Here is a nice vegan version of this traditional dessert made with apricot jam and chocolate.

Piatto Dessert
Cucina Italy
Prep Time 1 hour
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
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  1. Pour the ground linseed and the rice milk into a bowl and leave for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Open the vanilla pod, scraping the seed out from inside and mix it together with the cornflour, the raw cane sugar and the grated lemon rind.
  3. Add the coarsely chopped peeled almonds and combine the ingredients with the olive oil, mixing well.
  4. Add the linseed mixture little by little. Once it is smooth, pour into a baking tin with 12 molds lined with baking cases, to a depth of 0.5 inches.
  5. Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes, checking the “sbrisoline” are golden brown before removing from the oven.
  6. Remove the “sbrisoline” from the baking cases whilst they are still warm and allow to cool completely.
  7. Select some clear glasses of the same diameter as the “sbrisoline” and assemble them as follows: a bottom layer of Menz & Gasser apricot jam, a disk of “sbrisolina”, another layer of apricot jam, with some finely chopped pieces of either dried or fresh apricots (depending on availability), and flakes of dark chocolate.
  8. Coat the “sbrisoline” with a mix of flaked almonds and chocolate and garnish with a mint leaf or a curl of lemon rind.
Recipe Notes

Thanks to: Cucina Mancina