Mozzarella, tomato and basil have always been a vital part of the Italian culinary experience, and in this dish, these ancient tastes find a different expression of themselves. Thanks to technique, the tomato, Mozzarella and basil in this dish can surprise diners in its visionary composition, confound expectations and deliver them a unique treat that merges original tastes with something never experienced before.
For the Mozzarella Sphere
- 500g isomalt sugar
- 30g water
- Bring the isomalt sugar to a temperature of 180°C.
- Remove from the heat and with the aid of a ladle, add the water.
- Pour the mixture on a rubber mat.
- With this, work the still warm sugar and mix well by folding many times on itself, until you get the satin effect.
- Blow the mass while still hot (90°-100°C) using a manual air pump to inflate like a balloon. The mass needs to be inflated until it becomes a ball with a thin surface.
- Allow to cool and create an opening in the base which will be used later to insert the mozzarella foam.
For the Mozzarella Foam
- 250g buffalo mozzarella
- 125g fresh whole milk latte intero
- 250g fresh foam
- 100g albumen
- 6g leaves of gelatine
- Soak the gelatin in cold water.
- Blend in a mixer the mozzarella cut into cubes and milk until it becomes a smooth and creamy foam.
- Add the egg whites and cream, blend only for a few moments without mounting the compound. Pass through a fine sieve.
- Dissolve the gelatin in a small part of the mozzarella compound and add it to all the rest.
- Pass through a fine sieve again, then fill the siphon and load it with two cans of gas. Let stand for two hours in the refrigerator before using.
For the Tomato Coulis
- 400g cherry tomatoes
- 200g “piennulo” tomatoes
- 2 shallots
- 1 bunch of basil
- Oil, salt and pepper
- Finely chop the shallots and cook it gently in a saucepan.
- On a high heat, add the three varieties of tomatoes previously cut into quarters and cook for a few minutes turning frequently. Add salt and pepper, and continue cooking slowly for 15 minutes.
- Move the saucepan from the heat and infuse the bunch of basil.
- Add the mixture to an emulsifying mixer and blend the sauce with adding the oil, obtaining a creamy texture.
- Pass it through a Chinese strainer and then put it in a blast chiller to reduce the temperature.
For the Basil Emulsion
- 100g basil blanched (bleached)
- 80g grated parmesan cheese
- 100g toasted pine nuts
- 20g grated pecorino cheese
- 80g Olive oil
- Blanch the basil in salted water, then cool it in ice water, drain it and wring out all the excess water.
- Once you have 100 grams of “blanched basil”, add it into a container with all the other ingredients and mix it well.
- Fill up a pacojet container and put it in the blast chiller to lower the temperature to -20°C.
- Place all the emulsion in the pacojet, and put it back into the blast chiller.
- Shortly before using, put the mixture into the pacojet a second time and then pass it through the fine-mesh sieve with the help of a spatula.
- Store the emulsion in a pastry bag.
For the Dried Tomatoes
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- Lemon zest
- Powdered Sugar
- Peel the tomatoes, blanch them for a few seconds and then cool them quickly in ice water.
- Cut them in half and lay them on a plate with parchment paper, making sure to place them all with the pulp facing upwards.
- Place the thyme, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper on the tomatoes, then sprinkle with icing sugar.
- Allow the tomatoes to wilt gently in an oven at 50°C for three hours with the valve open.
For the Bread Croutons
- 200g “cafone” bread
- Olive Oil
- Cut the bread into cubes of 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm.
- Heat a non-stick pan with a little olive oil.
- Brown the bread cubes evenly and then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels.
For the Mozzarella Cubes
- 100g mozzarella cheese
- Cut the mozzarella into small cubes measuring 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm in size
For the Anchovy Fillets
- Two salted cetara anchovies
- De-salt the anchovies, clean them and set aside the fillets.
- Cut the fillets into small pieces.
For the Mozzarella Foam
- 300g mozzarella cheese
- 400g mozzarella cheese serum
- Cut the mozzarella into pieces.
- Fill a container for the pacoject put the serum of mozzarella inside.
- Break it down to -20°C.
- Put it in the blast chiller to quickly lower the temperature.
- Then break down (with the blast chiller) and put it again in the pacojet in order to obtain a consistency like “snow”.
- Lay the tomato coulis, the croutons of bread, candied tomatoes, cubes of mozzarella, the fillets of anchovies and the emulsion of pesto on the bottom of the plate.
- Put on the top the sphere of mozzarella filled with the foam, then the mozzarella foam “snow”.
- Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, Maldon salt, pepper mignonette and finally, some shoots of basil.
Recipe Courtesy of Andrea Aprea of 2 Michelin-starred VUN Andrea Aprea.
Andrea Aprea Chef Feature.
Image © Park Hyatt Milan.