Essen in Essen

In mid June, I have been invited to attend the meeting of the German community at Linux Hotel in Essen, to tell about the progress of Associazione LibreItalia and the Italian community at large (including the Google+ community).

While trying to improve my understanding of German (and Bavarian), I have shown a very simple presentation outlining the history and the evolution of the Italian community from almost zero (the old OOo community has “disappeared”, leaving Valter Mura, Luca Daghino and myself almost alone for almost two years) to over 3,000 loose members and over 200 supporters in just over two years.

In addition, I have organized the usual “pasta hacking” session, with an additional challenge: creating a palatable “cacio e pepe” (pecorino cheese + black pepper) based on ingredients from Germany.
Here is the recipee of “frodev cacio e pepe” (as a tribute to the German community) for four people:
  • 500 grams of pasta (I have used fusilli, but any other simple shape like penne or spaghetti would fit)
  • 50 grams of Parmesan (either grated or cut into tiny pieces, as otherwise it does not melt)
  • 50 grams of Edamer (or any other soft cheese which melts easily, avoiding strong flavours like Emmenthaler)
  • 50 grams of Gorgonzola (which is supposed to provide the zest of Pecorino in the original “cacio e pepe”)
  • salt (I know it is a lost battle, because you can find it only in Italy, but IT SHOULD be raw – i.e. crystals – and not table salt)
  • black pepper
  • one large pot
  • one large pan
  • two wooden spoons

Italo looking at the boiling pot.

Put the Edamer in the pan on a very soft fire, until it melts. Add Gorgonzola, until it melts. Use a wooden spoon to avoid that they conglomerate in a single blob (keep the fire as low as possible, and spread the cheese all over the pan).

Fill in the pot with cold water and put on high fire until it starts boiling. Add a large spoon of raw salt or two spoons of table salt until it starts boiling again. Add all pasta in the pot, until it starts boiling again, and from that time calculate at least 7 minutes (when you taste it, it should still “feel” under your teeth). Before draining the pasta, take five large spoons of boiling water: add two spoons to the melted cheese, and save three spoons in a bowl for later use.

Drain the pasta, put the melted cheese into the pot and add the drained pasta and the Parmesan on top. Put the pot back on a gentle fire. Using a wooden spoon, mix pasta and cheese with a circular movement from bottom to top (in order to bring up the melted cheese and down the Parmesan: the result will be the pasta “mantecata” – or drenched – with cheese). Add the boiling water that you have saved in the bowl to ease the “mantecatura” process.

Once the pasta is covered with cheese, add black pepper to your taste (“cacio e pepe” is not supposed to be spicy, but just tasty).


  1. 8 years ago

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