The New Year’s menu according to Rosanna Marziale

The New Year’s menu according to Rosanna Marziale

For the perfect New Year’s Eve menu we asked the chef of Le Colonne di Caserta, Rosanna Marziale, for advice: that’s what she told us.

There are regions where extreme traditionalism wins across the board at the table. Campania is one of those, where the party menu is intrinsic to the DNA of its inhabitants: fixed points which are difficult to ignore,Campania is a region where the party menu is intrinsic to the DNA of its inhabitantsat Christmas as on New Year’s Eve, dishes rich in nuances and flavors that make everyone agree in a transversal way. And it is precisely on these that a super chef like Rosanna Marziale – guru of the Le Colonne restaurant in Caserta, who grew up in the kitchen of Gianfranco Vissani and then of Martin Berasategui, and proud ambassador of buffalo mozzarella in the world – who, year after year, plays of lightening and subtraction but always focusing on the plates of memory. “ Because, in some way, after years of experimentation, to really go against the tide today you have to go back to tradition ”, he explains to Agrodolce, giving us some suggestions for the New Year’s menu .

Rosanna Marziale

Rosanna, let’s start with your personal categorical imperative: what can’t be missing on the New Year’s table?
The married soup , a great classic of the Campania tradition, rich and substantial. For me it can not be there and I would say also for our customers: we start making it in December and finish at Easter.

Can you tell us what it is made of?
From 7 types of vegetables, seasonal ones, to which we add the rind, the pig’s foot, the pork sausage and the beef pulp. Clearly we propose a reinterpretation of the classic recipe and, to make it less greasy, we blanch the meat and remove the cooking liquid, so the final product will be lighter. At the time of assembly, we cook the previously blanched vegetables and meats together, adding some chicken broth.

The final touch?
A nice addition of parmesan and pecorino. If you want you can also cook some pasta inside the soup, so the dish is complete.

Also for New Year’s Eve the eternal dilemma is: at the table, is it better to focus on tradition or innovation?
I am a strong traditionalist, because I am attached to the dishes I have eaten since I was little. My memories draw from those flavors and also in the party menu I focus on the great classics even if lightened and revisited, because the sense of going to eat at a restaurant is to offer something more: today on average in homes you eat well therefore the motivation to go to eat out must be high.


What do you recommend to leave for the New Year’s Eve dinner?
I am used to offering my guests things that I would also eat at my house. This is why I start from the reinforcement salad , a piece of our culinary identity. When I was little they said to me: “ Eat it, it will open your spirit ”. And that idea of ​​starting with a strong flavor, which predisposes the stomach to eat the rest.

What touch can we venture to modify it without upsetting it?  
The idea is always to play with colors, passing from the orange of the carrot to the leaves of the black broccoli, and then with the orange and the green adding celery, broccoli and broccoli and again the red with the Neapolitan papaccella . An extra touch can be to create a cauliflower mousse or a papaccella cream . The important thing is to keep a very intense sour and acid touch.

spaghetti with clams

The cornerstone of the New Year’s Eve dinner or New Year’s lunch is undoubtedly the first.
My advice? Playing with simplicity. For this I would aim for an excellent spaghetti with clams . Usually you eat white – the ” better white or spotted ” dilemma divides entire families here in Campania – but in this period you can’t help but stain with the Vesusio piennolo tomato: it doesn’t have much water inside and lends itself well to this type of dish.

3 tips for the perfect spaghetti with clams?
First of all, use excellent quality clams and pasta: it seems obvious, but for many people it is not. After having carefully purged the clams, you have to pay attention to a fundamental step, that of opening: it is done in a pot with oil and unpeeled garlic, then half must be shelled and the liquid must be filtered. So, when you drain the spaghetti you can use it for creaming, using a part of the cooking water of the pasta so that everything is flavored and the starch creates a delicate cream. I love to put both pepper and chilli, then decorate with the remaining shells: the beauty of this pasta is also sucking the clam.

And how do you prepare the cherry tomatoes and when do you add them?
I make small holes and put them in the oven, on a baking tray, with just a little salt and oil: in 15 minutes they wilt, becoming almost a confit tomato, and then I add them in the creaming phase so they remain intact.

fried cod

As a grand finale, what are we aiming for?
On the inevitable fried fish . You cannot miss the cod, simply fry using rice flour instead of the batter. And then space for small fried fish, the fresh one that is caught in this period, accompanied by seasonal vegetable chips.

Before the credits, there is still a small space for sweets. How do we surprise our guests?  
With a cassata in the Neapolitan version, with ricotta, pears and chocolate. Here, in the restaurant, many customers discard the icing and therefore we have thought of a version without, so as to avoid wasting product and processing time. The result is still very greedy.

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