Tag Archives: Benedetta Vitali


  • by Filippo Bartolotta 22.12.2011 featured in Italian here: http://www.gazzettagastronomica.it/2011/il-cappone-in-galantina-la-ricetta/

After assisting Benedetta Vitali of the famous Florentine restaurant Lo Zibibbo  with a long and intense day of pre-Christmas cooking, I was left with this traditional recipe to share. Its worth mentioning that the preparation time is fairly lengthy,  but in saying that – the level of expertise required is actually not so high.The hardest part of the preparation is the deboning, which you might prefer to delegate to your butcher! Preparation of the broth, including the filling, tying and cooking processes requires around three hours. On top of  this is the 12 hours fridge time required to compact the cappone and give it the right form. The result however,makes an afternoon’s work well worth it!

PS: If you do a quick online search for chicken or cappone in aspic you will pull up some shocking atrocities, with recipes that instead of tying the cappone will recommend that you put it in a tube of oil! I’m curious to see the result if anyone has tried this technique … without the can of course!

Cappone Benedetta Vitali

The Broth

In a large saucepan filled with cold water add all the herbs: celery, carrots, tomatoes and parsley. Cook the onions on high heat, burning them slightly. Add cloves and cinnamon. Add the Veal leg, the beef bones and those of the cappone. Add salt and peppercorns that have been crushed with a meat pounder.
The Filling
With a sharp knife cut the flesh from the inside of the cappone breasts, which are in general quite big. Of this, a part will be ground  up along with other meat for the stuffing and some will be used to make cappelleti (in cappone broth, of course.)

Grind the breast meat together with sirloins of beef, pork fillets and sausage meat.
Meanwhile, mix the ground meat with a slice of mortadella cut into small cubes and add the bread crumbs soaked well in milk. Mix everything with a whole egg, parmesan reggiano cheese, a pinch of nutmeg, some pistachio nuts and slices of black truffle. Don’t forget the salt in the dough!

With toothpicks close the side of the tail. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the mixture from the side of the neck and shut the cavity, either by sewing it shut or using a skewer to bring the sides of the cut together.

Il Cappone

Place the ready cappone filled, tied wrapped on a napkin, and closed with string into the already boiling broth so that the temperature closes the cappone on the outside and it does not lose moisture. Let it cook for 35 minutes. Remove from the broth and allow to drain for about 1 / 2 hour. When the liquid is completely drained place the cappone on a baking sheet and put a weight on top that will compact it nicely. Leave overnight in the refrigerator with the weight on top.

The Jelly

Strain the broth, put it back in a steel pot and when it boils, pour in the  white of  a beaten egg constantly whisking it. The egg will thicken capturing all the impurities and residues of the broth, making it transparent and clear. Now remove the white with a skimmer. Wait for it to cool and keep it in refrigerator in small molds or containers that will allow you to cut it into cubes or slices as you like. The foot should ensure a good jelly which is necessary to serve the ‘Aspic of Cappone’, but if you want a more aesthetically appealing result in extremis add 3 sheets of gelatin soaked in cold water and squeeze for every liter of broth still hot.

When the Cappone is cold and compact, slice finely and garnish with  gelatin cubes. Before serving let the Cappone come down to room temperature. Decorate with some grated black truffle!


  • 1 Whole Capon 3kg
  • 200g minced beef
  • 200g minced pork
  • 1 slice mortadella
  • 200ml Milk
  • 1 Italian Sausage Skinned
  • 8 slices Bread
  • 100g Grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
  • 50 g toasted pistachio nuts
  • Salt and pepper
  • black truffle

For the Broth

1 Veal foot( broken in half)
Beef bones
1 kg meat cuts for soup
4 red onions
3 carrots, 3 sticks of celery, 3 cloves

Cinnamon stick

5/6 tomatoes



Back in the U.S.A. for the second leg of Italy at Your Table.


Back in the U.S.A. for the second leg of Italy at Your Table.

by Filippo Bartolotta

This time the tour is going to be quite heavy going as I’ll have a lot of late nights and early flights to catch. I must confess that I fill some pressure as there won’t be too many sleeping hours on the way!

I started this Road Show in the “Full Monty” way, two years ago. The idea is all in the name: Italy at Your Table.

I bring some Italian Gourmet and cultural life style to people’s home and restaurants in the U.S. The Road Show is a coast to coast adventure done by plane, train, GreyHounds!

I travel with my assistant Benedetta, fifteen of Italy’s most prestigious wineries, food producers, artisans and…an unbelievable American spirit thrown in by our private hosts, restaurants and important institutions.

Last year it was so successful, we managed to spend a whole morning at The White House discussing nutrition topics with the Iron Chef!

From the Metropolitan Museum in New York, to Alice Waters -Chez Panisse-; from Martha’s Table and D.C. Central Charity to the greatest private collectors; from The Napa Valley Reserve to the W Hotel.

This is a project organized all by LeBaccanti Tours which connects the best wines and foods of Italy to American gourmets, journalists and chefs.

I very often travel also with not only with the best Italian food and wine, but also with some of the greatest chefs. like Benedetta Vitali, Zibibbo Restaurant-Florence or Luciano Zazzeri, La Pineta-Tuscan Coast.

Together with them we teach how to cook, how to make pasta…from scratch:) while having fun with the guests.

It is the greatest way to learn about nutrition, organic food, fine wines and get some serious TRAVEL TIPS TO ITALY!

Either on an helicopter or with humbler means of transportation Italy is just a fabulous experience.

So while someone might be busy learning about the great Italian Fine Wines, others might like to take more leisurely. Which ever way is going to be an authentic and enjoyable experience.

AJ, one of our hosts, today has just told me that all of his guests are still talking about the Italy at Your Table evening as one of the best of their life!!!


This year with the greatest trade support given by our partners Italian Wine Merchants. If you are interested in purchasing any of the Italy at Your Tabel Selection, please do not hesitate to contact them.

So here I am in the Big Apple for a couple of intimate dinners with very sophisticated collectors and a few meetings with some Chefs, like Sam Hazen – Veritas, Julian Medina – Yerba Buena and Gabrielle – Prune.

They all love Italian wines and make great food so, shall we say…it won’t suck!

Although I’ll be ending up the tour with some sleeping issues, as I have many late nights and early morning flights, on the other hand though I am very excited as the next step after New York will be in San Francisco where I’ll meet up with new friends. Saint Antonio –Texas; Santa Barbara; Los Angels; Napa Valley; Kansas City; New York the following pit-stops. I’ll keep you posted.

But who are these new friends Italy at Your Table is going to meet in San Francisco?

Next to SanFrancisco is Berkely home to Chez Panisse, Alice Waters restaurant.

Alice is charged with some special human power. A special energy that allows her to take the lead of a thousand projects all directed to have Americans eat better, tastier and healthier food. After meeting her in Marhta’s Table and D.C. Central Charity event in January, I will now have the opportunity to talk about GOOD FOOD AWARD, good wine at the W Hotel.

This is all been possible thanks to the sweetnees and wonderful spirit of Alice and of course Sarah Winer, the Director of www.seedlingprojects.org. Sarah and I have been talking thourghout the winter to have a blend of The Good Food Award & Italy at Your Table. The W Hotel accepted the challenge and decided to organize an event fot the city of San Francisco!!! Thanks Allison!

So the recepie is made of: three hot chefs; Good Food Award winning products; great Italian fine wines, Chocolate and Balsamic Vinegar; a wonderful location and…some hungry guests!

The event is going to take place on the 9th at 1830. Prior to that though I’ll go and meet the Chefs in their element and a behind the scenes full report will be disclosed after the event!

Meanwhile please take a look at the first draft of the evening:

Chef Paul Piscopo of XYZ Restaurant

Grilled acme batard, la quercia prosciutto, hot pickled okra & sieved egg

Chef Tia Harrison | Sociale

Caramelized duck pate profiteroles with bourbon’d figs, rucola, house made fennel pollen mustard

Chef William Werner | The Tale Preserve Company

Caramelized brioche with red hawk cheese, cocoa nib and carrot

Pairing by FilippoBartolotta with:

Arnaldo Caprai “25 anni”, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2005
Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvée Brut
Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2004
Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella superiore DOC 2004
Fattoria delle Ripalte Alea Ludendo, Aleatico dell’Elba DOC 2007
Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo DOCG 2009
Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo, Chianti Classico DOCG 07
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 08
Petra Petra IGT TOSCANA 2006
Prà Soave Classico DOC 2009
Proprietà Sperino Uvaggio, Coste della Sesia DOC 2007
Sandrone Luciano Nebbiolo D’Alba Valmaggiore 2007
Acetaia Giusti Aceto Balsamico di Modena
Antica Dolceria Bonajuto Modica Chocolate

Thank you Sarah for making it happen!!!

If you want to know more about the “Good Food Award”

The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. Granting awards to outstanding American food 





By Filippo Bartolotta

So Chicago wasn’t over yet as we another dinner with Karee and Loren.

Benedetta, Barbara and I decide to start the day with a proper Chicago brunch indulging in a breakfast burrito to face the tough and cold day:)

We end up being super sleepy and I manage to loose my credit card for the millionth time…great!

We walk a bit to digest the mexican feast and head to Karee’s house to prepare the wine dinner.

Tons of glasses are available in this lovely house where thogether with our usual suspects we also have the very profound and richly extracted Manachiara Riserva Brunello di Montalcino Nardi 2004.

The 2004 vintage has in general been a pretty good one across the board in Italy, but the very good weather also meant that it was a very generous vintage. As a result a lot of 2004 Brunellos, for instance might result a little dilute.

This isn’t definitely not the case for the ’04 with us at Italy at Your Table because together with Silvio Nardi Brunello 2004 also the other ’04 have been showing the best of a classic vintage character. Tenute San Leonardo 2004, ColleMassari 2004 and Elvio Cogno Barolo Vigna Elena 2004 have in fact been hit by our guests!

While I was getting my wines at the right temperature. Benedetta is still running the show preparing dinner for everybody and inviting the guest to join in making spaghetti alla Chitarra and Ravioli.

This evening was very entertaining also for me as I had a full hour before lunch to introduce  and taste the eleven wines together while nibbling on some Prosciutto di Parma invention by Benedetta Vitali. The two tables were formed by slit couples of husbands and wives and the competition was almost painful! Everybody was sooo intensely dedicated to it that for me was just a pleasure to watch while having a plate of Spaghetti with broccoli and anchovies like only Benedetta can make!

One thousand questions, one thousand doubts and answers and the evening went by in a slit second till we get to the succulent Benedetta’s Lamb chops!

Karee and Loren friends were all very interested and lively and I look forward to Chicago again!

On the way home we ask the cab driver to take us for a little detour to The Green Mill. This is one of the oldest and most established Jazz Club in town where nothing changed since AlCapone’s time! A beer and a chaser and some good music, fun people with a very different age and backround, like only one can find in these places!

Morning after we have a plain to catch to get back home in NYC.




Italian Wine Training at Chez Panizze

by Filippo Bartolotta

Among the million ways one could rap up a wine and food event in the Bay Area, I can’t think of a better one then Chez Panisse in Berkley with Alice Waters.

And this dream came true after Alice an I spent some time together in Washington at the Martha’s Table Charity event and at the White House where we spent a whole Monday morning between the kitchen and the great green garden revolution so much wanted by Michelle Obama.

So with a succulent prawn burrito with guacamole and jalapeno sauce, Barbara and I get on the Bart train to Berkely.

Alice invited me during Joan Nathan‘s birthday party: you have to go to Chez Panisse, Filippo!

Five minutes later the sweetest and most efficient P.A. ever met Sarah Weinermakes it happen and with one phone call I have an Italy at Your Table evening booked at Chez Panisse!  Grande Sarah. thanks!

Jonathan has been working for nearly 26 years as the wine buyer and sommelier at Chez Panisse.

He has been insisting on having me there at 1500. I didn’t quite catch why till I entered the restaurant:

a full classroom of people were waiting for me to learn more about Italian wines: it was Alice Waters’ collaborators!

The wines where all laid out, glasses on the table and everyone staring at me.

I looked at Barbara a little perplex, then I see Master Chef Jean Pierre Moulle waiving towards me while looking at some of our labels. Jonathan cracks open a bottle of Vernaccia di Sangimignano Panizzi 2008, he hands me a glass and I kick off.

I must admit that I was coming out of the blue sky and got a little paralyzed  thinking I that I was right in the hear of American food Revolution started right there thirty years ago with Alice Waters! Jonathan somehow put me right on track opening a second bottle of Vernaccia -Panizzi Evoè 2006. A macerated style with an almost salty palate.   Everyone loved this wine and I begun to enjoy my time at Chez Panisse.

From here we jumped to Italy at Your Table reds, going from the minerally juicy Uvaggio-Proprietà Sperino 2006 to the red berry crush and cherry packed refreshing Chianti Classico Monsanto Riserva 2006 and the thick, leathery, earthy, meaty and gun flinty Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino 2003 Selezione 25 anni; then its time for a compare and contrast dense, sweet and luscious Tenute San Leonardo 2004 and Montevetrano 2005.

Everyone is taking notes while sipping Italy away

Jonathan is contributing with his fantastic knowledge and passion to the tasting right till the end, making the while day at Chez Panisse the smoothest and most enjoyable experience possible.

Also Messieur Jean Pierre joins in with participation when we open the savoury sweet dessert Aleatico dell’Elba 2006 of Tenute delle Ripalte.

This has been our only dessert wine of the entire Road Show making everyone’s mouth salivating!

After the training session is time to go back to work and so Cal Peternell and Benedetta Vitali go to finish off the evenings preparations

Barbara get Italy at Your table wines and products ready with the Malpighi Traditional Balsamic vinegar and Pasolini dall’onda Extravirgin Olive oil. Guests arrive promptly at 1900 and Chez Panisse Dinner is featuring some of Benedetta Vitali best dishes.

Benedeta that night show what a tremendous woman she is. starting early in the morning all the way through to the evening and then haning out with us till late at night despite in the morning we all had to depart for LA! Che donna!

Meanwhile I receive the picture of my sweet little Daphne who seems to be growing at a faster peace while in New York!

I love you baby!