A three Michelin star cuisine, a swimming pool immersed in the green Emilian plains and a pittoresque setting features in Massimo Bottura's latest partnership.
Known across the world for his three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana (famously named the No. 1 restaurant in the world by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants), Bottura opened up an elegant country estate with his lovely wife, Lara Gilmore, just outside Modena — in Italy’s food capital, Emilia-Romagna. The 12-room country house functions as a proper bed and breakfast, but is so much more.
Arriving at the estage, following a long tree-lined driveway reveals the stately 18th-century mansion with a cream-colored facade, sage shutters, and large wooden doors. But some unusual plastic sculptures catches your eye - two large bowls of gelato — complete with plastic spoons — flanking the structure’s central balcony and dripping onto the veranda.
Bottura commissioned Italian artist Giorgio di Palma to create the whimsical gelato sculptures, portraying heaping scoops of chocolate-pistachio and strawberry-vanilla. A bit tongue of cheek to provide guests with a friendly warning, don't expect things to be quite as standard or boring; but instead a bit of funkiness.
In July 2017, Lara Gilmore, Bottura's wife purchased the villa, situated in the countryside a mere 15-minute drive from Modena, with her husband, Massimo Bottura. An 18-month project, Casa Maria Luigia opened a few months ago. The Bottura's want this guest house feel like a home and not like a standard hotel, and not just the interior reflects this. The cuisine is still at a 3-Michelin Star level but with less formality.
Most recently Bottura has created a storm on Instragram with the program "Kitchen Quarantine”, the social series created by his daughter Alexa and broadcast via Instagram during the lockdown.
Mac & Cheese by Massimo Bottura: The Italian-Modenese Recipe
During the lockdown Massimo Bottura and his family produced the Kitchen Quarantine program which was streamed on Instagram. On one the recipes on the program, is the "Mac & Cheese" by Massimo Bottura.
Here is the recipe.
For the béchamel: 2 cups milk, 3 oz Parmigiano cheese (preferably aged 30 months), 2 oz butter, 1 ½ oz flour, Salt, Nutmeg
For the pasta: 11 oz mixed leftover pasta (spaghetti, fusilli, macaroni), 5 oz mortadella cubes, 4 oz blue goat's cheese, in chunks, 3 oz cottage cheese, 3 oz smoked caciotta cheese to finish, 2 ½ oz grated pecorino cheese, 2 ½ grated Parmigiano cheese, 2 ½ grated pecorino cheese, The milk from one whole mozzarella.
For the béchamel: Whisk the flour with the butter in a saucepan over low heat, adding the warm milk a little at a time. Stir continuously to avoid lumps. Add the grated parmigiano cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time, followed by a pinch of salt and nutmeg.
For the pasta: Boil the leftover pasta al dente and drain. Pour half of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of a round cake tin (with a diameter of 24-26 cm). Add the mixed pasta – even broken up a little bit for longer varieties like spaghetti. Spread the ricotta cheese on top and sprinkle with the milk of one whole mozzarella. (Cut the mozzarella in half and squeeze the milk over the surface.) Distribute the mortadella and blue cheese cubes in the mold. Sprinkle with grated pecorino and pecorino di fossa cheese. Cover everything with the remaining béchamel sauce and sprinkle with plenty of grated parmigiano cheese. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and finish with grated smoked caciotta cheese.