More than just pasta

Dig into some Italian dishes, and soak in the cuisine that thrives on fresh ingredients and simplicity.

The tenets of Italian cooking are deeply rooted in tradition. Although every region has some minor local variations, largely, there are a few staple ingredients that are found in every Italian home. Many parts of Italy have sea coasts, so seafood is a much more an important part of Italian cooking traditions than most people realise with the use of sardines, sea bass and squid in recipes.

Freshness is imperative to Italian cuisine and Italians prefer to cook only with fresh ingredients. We emphasise on using quality ingredients over cooking techniques.

The traditional ingredients that one would find in any Italian’s pantry are basil, tomato, Grana Padano cheese, extra virgin olive oil and any pasta.

We believe in only eating fresh homemade pasta. While in recent times, a lot of people will use the pasta machines, I have grown up on my mother’s pasta made with nothing but a rolling pin and pasta dough. Whether using a machine or a rolling pin, making pasta at home for consumption is a must in Italy. We do not believe in store-bought pasta.

My culinary philosophy is to keep the flavours simple, not overcrowd a dish with too many spices or ingredients. As Italians, we believe that quality of the ingredients lies the magnificence of the dish. The new menu at STAX features a lot of items that you would find at a local restaurant in Italy.

Italian cuisine does not use too many spices; we rely heavily on fresh herbs to add flavour to a dish.

Family plays a central role in Italian traditions, and a large family meal is customary in Italian households. The meals are relaxed affairs with several courses. The goal of the meal isn’t just to eat, but it’s time for the family members to converse and enjoy each other’s company and may take hours.

Italians are complete bread lovers, it is a staple all over the country and will always find its place on the table at any meal period.

Italian cuisine is based on peasant traditions and thus relies on inexpensive, locally available foods to a great extent. That is why some of the most popular dishes in Italian cuisine are made with simple ingredients but pack a lot of flavours. For instance, the Minestrone Soup is a thick Italian soup made with whichever vegetables are in season. Also, theAntipasti Misto is a platter of cold cuts, cheese and bread that is meant to be shared by the entire family.

Daniele is the Chef de Cuisine at Forni, Park Hyatt Hyderabad and is hosting a new menu at STAX, Hyatt Regency Mumbai, till June 11, along with the sous-chef Rajiv Das.

Grilled lamb chop with oven roasted potato wedges and red wine jus

  • 180 gm lamb chops
  • 30 gm potato wedges
  • ½ tbsp rosemary
  • ½ tbsp thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 20 ml red wine
  • 50 ml demi glaze
  • 1 tomato
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Marinate the lamb chops with olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic cloves, salt and black pepper.
  • Pre-heat a grill on medium-high heat and place the lamb on grill, once hot.
  • Grill the lamb chops to desired perfection, about three minutes per side. Keep it to rest before plating it.
  • Cut the potato into wedges with the skin on and boil the potato.
  • Season the wedges with salt, pepper and thyme and roast them in the oven.
  • Season a whole tomato and grill it.

Red Wine Sauce:

  • Make a stock with lamb bones by adding some fresh tomato and herbs to it. Reduce the stock.
  • Strain the stock to make your demi glaze.
  • Heat a pan and add the demi glaze sauce with red wine, and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve along with lamb chop.


Spaghetti with bisque, prawns, chilli and cherry tomato

  • 90 gm prawns
  • 30 ml white wine
  • 5 gm cherry tomato
  • 110 gm spaghetti
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 80 ml seafood bisque
  • ½ tbsp chilli flakes
  • 20 gm onion
  • 20 gm carrot
  • 5 gm fresh thyme
  • 100 gm fresh tomatoes

For the bisque:

  • Heat a pan and add olive oil, garlic, onion, leek and celery. Cook well until vegetables start sweating.
  • Add prawn shells along with some seafood stock.
  • Add diced tomatoes, and cook well until it softens.
  • Reduce the stock, and strain to get a thin bisque.


  • Heat a pan, and add olive oil.
  • Add shelled prawn and deglaze the pan with white wine.
  • Add the seafood bisque.
  • Blanch the spaghetti and toss it along with the sauce.
  • Place the pasta on the plate, and garnish it with prawns, parsley spring and olive oil.


Pumpkin and amaretti ravioli, sage butter and parmesan

  • 400 gm refined flour
  • 00 gm semolina
  • 200 gm pumpkin
  • 10 gm amaretti cookie
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 gm sage
  • 10 gm parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

for the ravioli dough:

  • Combine the flour and semolina with 200 ml of warm water.
  • Make the dough, and let it rest for at least an hour.
  • Make pasta sheets with the help of a pasta machine.

For Pumpkin Stuffing:

  • Roast the pumpkin and remove the skin.
  • Scoop the filling and strain it, to remove all the excess liquid.
  • Add some amaretti cookie and parmesan cheese.

For the Ravioli:

  • Place the pumpkin and amaretti cookie mixture on the pasta sheet. Place another sheet on top of it, and use cutters to make various shapes.

For Sage Butter Sauce:

  • Add softened butter and sage in a heated pan.
  • Add blanched ravioli to the sage butter sauce, and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Garnish with amaretti cookie and sage.
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