sponsor e sostenitori fondazione collegio san carlo fondazione cassa di risparmio di modena comune di modena comune di carpi comune di sassuolo provincia di modena regione emilia romagna caramica viva fondazione cassa di risparmio di carpi

festivalfilosofia sapere;2008

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philosophicalcuisine

Philosophical Fantasy Food


Invited to serve up fantasy at table, we wanted to avoid the trap of "fancy" cooking of some of the chefs featured in and awarded prizes by many food guides but often disbarred from attending to the classic sauces with their lengthy preparations, cooks who have lost the habit of carving up and tucking in, electing to serve wizened victuals with a side-dish of indigestible scribbles.

Because we are for great historic cooking - in our case the Emilian tradition and, in particular, that of Modena - with its feast of pasta and meat dishes, we have chosen to use "fancy" in the sense of the ability to reinterpret and construct reality, investing it with allusiveness and situating it in a symbolic context. 

Hence the menus: pasta dishes - tortelli and lasagne, gramigna and tagliatelle - are the fantastic first courses, veritable universals in our local culture. And to follow...feasts of meat courses:  bollito misto (mixed boiled meats) is a fantasia on the whole, whose parts - cow or calf, pig or chicken - can be restored to bodily wholeness by human fancy. Then an encyclopaedia of images as the pig - the "encyclopaedic animal" par excellence since nothing is discarded, exactly as with the encyclopaedia of knowledge - is presented in various guises.

We also wanted to represent one or two mythical events: imagining an earthly paradise meant ensuring a vegetarian menu, since before the Fall Adam and Eve ate no living creatures, just things growing wild. More recent events that haunt the revolutionary imagination are alluded to in the  bomba di riso (rice bomb) and the cotechino in galera (steamed sausage detained in custody).

In flights of fancy we have presented yard-birds that imagine they can fly and which intensify the flavour of their meat by trying to take off. In alchemical fancies we have turned base metals into gold as happens when the fritto misto becomes a golden brown colour and simple elements are transmuted into savoury comestibles.

There is also a chance to eat with words, ingredients not in your plate but evoked by the force of fancy, as happens when we eat pasta bows or butterflies (farfalle) with bolognaise sauce and birds (uccelletti) that have flown. To end the experience with Dionysus, you can retrace the footsteps of the maenads on their journey of divine inebriation: the wine-bars will see to that one.

In this way, as fancy, fantasy and imagination takes over theatres, auditoriums and piazzas, involving old and young alike, it will also preside at restaurant tables, happy harbinger of taste, divine protector of convivial pleasures.

Tullio Gregory



1. Fantastic first courses


tortelli alle erbette (filled pasta with herbs)
tagliatelle al ragù (tagliatelle in sauce bolognaise)
lasagne al forno (baked lasagne)
gramigna con salsiccia (short pasta with sausage)
pasticcio di maccheroni (oven-baked maccheroni)

torta di riso (savoury rice cake)
torta di tagliatelle (timbale of tagliatelle)


Baia del Re (Modena)
Café Livre (Modena)
Caffè Concerto (Modena)
Caffè del Collegio (Modena)
Carducci (Modena)
Da Omer (Modena)
L'Erba del Re (Modena)
Osteria Toscana (Modena)
Blu (Carpi)
Caffè Martini (Carpi)
La Gabarda (Carpi)
La Cantina (Sassuolo)
Osteria (Sassuolo)
Sunrise Café (Sassuolo)

2. Eating metaphors


farfalle al ragù (pasta butterflies with sauce bolognaise)
rosette al forno (baked rosettes with ham and cream)

uccelletti scappati (the birds have flown)
pesce finto (tuna meatloaf)

cipolline in agrodolce (baby onions pickled in sweet and sour sauce)

pesche al forno (baked peaches with chocolate filling)
salame di cioccolato (chocolate sausage)



La Cantina (Sassuolo)

3. Encyclopaedic imagination


gnocco fritto e tigelle con lardo e affettati misti
(fried gnocco and savoury scones with rosemary and garlic
scented lard and mixed sliced ham and salami)


grigliata mista di maiale con arista, costine e salsiccia
(mixed grill of pork with backgammon, ribs and sausage)

arrosto di maialino al latte (roasted suckling pig)
pote con pancetta e Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
(bitter leaves with belly-pork and Traditional Aceto Balsamico di Modena)


sorbetto al limone (lemon sorbet).



Il Baluardo (Modena)
Trattoria Anceschi (Modena)
Trattoria del Giardinetto (Modena)
Cookies (Carpi)

4. Imagining the whole


tortellini in brodo (filled pasta in broth)

bollito misto con mostarda e salse rossa e verde
(mixed boiled meats with spicy sauces)


purè di patate (puréed potato)
fagioli bianchi di Spagna in umido (stewed white Spanish beans)

bensone con vino bianco (local sweetbread with white wine)



Al Boschetto da Loris (Modena)
Al Cenacolo (Modena)
Antica Hosteria Vecchia Pirri (Modena)
Antica Trattoria Cervetta (Modena)
Caffè Concerto (Modena)
Caffè del Collegio (Modena)
Carducci (Modena)
Da Danilo (Modena)
Da Enzo (Modena)
Fini (Modena)
Il Baluardo (Modena)
L'Incontro (Modena)
La Secchia Rapita (Modena)
Oreste (Modena)
Taverna dei Servi (Modena)
L'Anatra (Cortile di Carpi)
L'incontro (Carpi)
Antica Trattoria Pavlot (Sassuolo)
La Paggeria (Sassuolo)
Osteria (Sassuolo)

5. In the Garden of Eden


erbazzone (herb-filled pasty)

lasagne verdi (green lasagne)
tortelli di zucca (envelopes of pasta filled with pumpkin)
tortelli alle erbette (envelopes of pasta filled with wild herbs)

tortino di patate di Montese (potato pie)

mirtillo nero dell'Appennino con Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
(Apennine blueberries with Traditional Aceto Balsamico di Modena)




Caffè Concerto (Modena)
Cucina del Museo (Modena)
La Quercia di Rosa (Modena)
Il 25 (Carpi)
Osteria (Sassuolo)
Sunrise Café (Sassuolo)

6. An imagined revolution


bomba di riso (rice bomb)
bomba di tagliatelle (a grenade of tagliatelle)

polpette con verdura (meatballs with vegetables)
cotechino in galera (steamed sausage detained in custody)

insalate di radicchi di campo con Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
(red/radical/grass-roots salad with Traditional Aceto Balsamico di Modena)

"crafen" (bomboloni alla crema) (doughnuts with explosive cream)



Mofo (Modena)
Zelmira (Modena)

7. Alchemical fancies


frittelle di pasta e riso (pasta and rice fritters)

fritto misto alla modenese (di carni, verdure e dolci)
(meat, vegetables and cream deep-fried in batter)


tortelli fritti col savôr (fried tortelli in local sauce)



Fusorari (Modena)

8. Flights of fancy


maccheroni al pettine con ragù di piccione
(fresh pasta with pigeon sauce)


pollo alla cacciatora (chicken chasseur - peppers and tomatoes)
anatra arrosto (roasted duck)
piccioni in casseruola (casseroled pigeon)

patate arrosto (roast potatoes)

croccante (crispy delight)



Antico Naviglio (Modena)

9. Dionysian imaginings


stria e gnocco al forno (bread products)

fantasia di salumi nostrani e parmigiano-reggiano
(fantasia of sliced ham and salami and parmesan cheese)


selezione dei lambruschi DOC modenesi: Sorbara, Castelvetro e Salamino di Santacroce
(selection of Lambrusco wines DOC: Sorbara, Castelvetro and Salamino from Santacroce)



Athenaeum Wine Club (Modena)
Buscapé (Modena)
Caffé Malagoli (Modena)
Calle di Luca (Modena)
Compagnia del Taglio (Modena)
Montecristo Rosè (Modena)
Pane Vino e S. Daniele (Modena)
La Bottiglieria (Carpi)