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Italian chef Riccardo Camanini gives the recipe to his signature dish at Michelin-starred restaurant Lido 84: Rigatoni Cacio e Pepe en Vessie. An aromatic cheese-and-pepper pasta dish cooked in an inflated pig’s bladder and served tableside, this dish is as much about theatre as it is taste.

Based on an ancient Roman technique of using animal organs as food vessels, this dish is tricky to perfect, but well worth the effort when done just right. Now, courtesy of the chef, you can try your hand at his famed dish at home…

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 dehydrated pig’s bladder
  • 300g of rigatoni pasta, Riccardo recommends using Felicetti as it is strong and won’t disintegrate during the 30 minutes of cooking
  • 135g of pecorino, aged black rind variety, grated
  • 90g of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3g of black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 12g of salt, Riccardo uses Guérande

Method

  1. Soak the dehydrated pig’s bladder in cold water for about 10 days, changing the water daily.
  2. When the bladder is adequately hydrated, insert the other ingredients into it using a funnel, then firmly secure the bladder opening with kitchen twine.
  3. Cook the stuffed bladder in a large pan of boiling water, being sure to keep it submerged in the water and shaking it occasionally to mix the pasta inside. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve in front of guests by cutting open the bladder with a sharp knife and spooning the rigatoni onto plates.

Recipe courtesy of Riccardo Camanini, Chef of Michelin-starred Lido 84 in Italy.

Images © Giovanni Panarotto