‘Giro d’Italia’ by Aldo Zilli at Cicchetti

San Carlo Group’s celebrity Chef Aldo Zilli today launches his new regional feature menu at San Carlos Cicchetti

By Lee Isherwood | June 7th '13

San Carlo Group’s celebrity Chef Aldo Zilli today launches his new regional feature menu ‘Giro d’Italia’ (journey through Italy) at Cicchetti.

Each month will see Cicchetti’s Girdo d’Italia menu feature a different region of Italy, exploring the culinary specialities unique to its location. The specials menu comprises several strictly authentic dishes crafted from seasonal ingredients flown in from the featured region.

Faithful to Abruzzo and his home town, Aldo has recreated dishes close to his heart, some he learned to cook with his mamma and which would go on to inspire his life-long passion for cooking.

Aldo-Zilli-makes-pasta-using-guitar-strings-as-he-launches-Giro-d'Italia-Regional-menu-at-Cicchetti

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Arrosticini-Special-skewers-from-Abruzzo-lambs-meat Arrosticini – Special skewers made from abruzzo lamb`s meat

Cozze-e-vongole-piccanti-Spicy-mussels-and-clams-Adriatic-styleCozze e Vongole piccanti – Spicy mussels and clams, Adriatic style

Chitarra-ai-scampi-e-zafferano-di-Navelli-Abruzzo-pasta-langoustines-and-saffron-from-the-National-Park-of-Navelli

Pallotte-Cac-'e'-ove-servite-pomodoro-e-scaglie-di-caciotta-al-tartufo-nero-Classic-Abruzzo-cheese-balls-with-tomato-sauce-and-black-truffle-caciottaPallotte Cac`e`ove servite con pomodoro e scaglie di caciotta al tartufo nero – Classic abruzzo cow cheese balls served with tomato sauce and sliced black truffle caciotta

Guazzetto-di-baccala-Abruzzo-style-guazzetto-of-cod-with-olivesGuazzetto di baccala – Abruzzo style guazzetto of salted cod with olives

Tortino-di-melanzane-gratinate-con-scamorza-e--salsiccia-Abruzzese-Gratin-of-Aubergines-with-Scamorza-cheese-and-spicy-Abruzzo-sausageTortino Di Melanzane gratinate con scamorza e salsiccia abruzzese –
Gratin of aubergines with scamorza cheese and spicy Abruzzo sausage

Sagbe-e-ceci-Abruzzi-handmade-sagne-pasta-with-chick-peas-in-a-lightly-spiced-garlic-and-herb-sauce Sagne e ceci – Typical abruzzi handmade “sagne” pasta served with chick peas and slightly spicy garlic and herb sauce

The June launch sees Cicchetti take a gastronomic tour of Executive Consultant Head Chef Aldo Zilli’s home, Abruzzo. This central region stretches from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea, covering a wild and mountainous terrain. Known as the greenest region of Italy, Abruzzo has a rich culinary tradition; here you’ll find sea fare, lamb, kid, locally produced smoked meats, sausages, salamis and some excellent locally produced wines.

“I learned to cook with my mamma back home in Alba Adriatica, it’s a charming seaside town where our food is simple; it’s minimally mucked-about. For me the best cooking combines great simplicity with great taste. The Giro d’Italia menu is a fantastic way for us to showcase the variations in local Italian cuisine and to continue to do what Cicchetti does best, delicious, authentic food where the quality of seasonal ingredients is allowed to shine through. I hope you’ll come and sample the taste of my home town and some of the dishes which led me to where I am today.”

For me the stand out dishes were the Gratin of aubergines with scamorza cheese and spicy Abruzzo sausage and the Abruzzo style guazzetto of salted cod with olives. Both dishes were light but rich in flavour, perfect for a late afternoon lunch.

After a fantastic meal and conversation Aldo slipped into his casual gear and headed off to deepest Yorkshire to do it all over again, ever a charmer and as cool as they come. had to include this picture so you can see what I’m talking about, sums it up perfectly.

Lee,Aldo&Ben

For dinner reservations call San Carlo Cicchetti: 0161 839 2233