The Perfect Summer Menu: 2 Recipes for the Perfect Dinner

Follow along for two great suggestions for a paired down yet sophistacted summer menu and enjoy entertaining at home. Here chefs Moreno Cedroni and Beppe Allegretta offer two recipes for a main dish and a dessert that are light and delicious.

The weather’s warm under the starry nights of summer, the perfect time to invite guests for an evening spent over good food and a few glasses of wine. Simple recipes and al fresco dining can make for the ideal atmosphere. Flowing linens, freshly cut greenery or flowers on the table, easy music, and relaxed lighting with several carefully placed large candles make the setting, while serving just two recipes keep from spending all day and night in the kitchen.

Ricciola  with Leek, and Basil in a Violet Sauce from Moreno Cedroni

The “Ricciola with leek, basil, and violet sauce,” made by chef Moreno Cedroni is an explosion of freshness and vitality, where different textures and delicate contrasts create an irresistible combination with a taste of summer set against vibrant and harmonious colors.

To end the dinner on a sweet note, pastry chef Beppe Allegretta’s soft dessert “Thinking of a Cassata,” is a taste of Sicily based on traditional ingredients reinterpreted in a contemporary key.

Ricciola by Moreno Cedroni

Ricciola with leek, basil, and violet sauce by Moreno Cedroni

Ingredients for 4 people

For the amberjack 

Thinly sliced amberjack fillets: 400 g

For the Light Leek Broth

Green leek leaves: 3
Kefir: 10 g
Water: 500 g
Salt: 4 g

For the Leek Sauce

Leek: 100 g
Butter: 15 g
Caster sugar: 10 g
Leek broth: to taste
Soy sauce: 8 g
White vinegar: 25 g

For the basil jelly

Basil: 35 g
Water: 250 g
Salt: 2 g
Fish glue sheets: 2 g
Agar agar: 2 g

For the amaranth

Amaranth: 50 g
Oil: to taste

For decoration

Julienne-cut basil leaves: to taste
Pansies: to taste
Extra virgin olive oil: to taste
Salt: to taste
Amaranth: to taste

Moreno Cedroni

Ricciola Moreno Cedroni
Photo Credits: Brambilla Serrano


Simmer three green leek leaves and two kefir leaves for 20 minutes in 500 g water with 4g salt.

Stew the butter and julienned leek in a pan. Then add the sugar and allow it to dissolve. At this point, add the leek broth while still hot and the soy sauce. Allow to reduce until 100g of sauce is obtained, remove from the heat and add the white vinegar.

Boil the water with salt, blanch the basil leaves in it, and leave them to cool in a bowl with water and ice. Meanwhile, bring the 250g water with the 2g salt to a boil, add the fish glue, agar agar, and squeezed basil leaves. Whisk everything together, pass through a sieve and leave the gelatin to solidify in a bowl. Cut out cubes about 0.5 cm in size.

Cook the amaranth in unsalted boiling water for 30 minutes, drain and let it dry completely – this can be done a day or two in advance. Then fry the dried amaranth in hot oil at 210°C.

At the base of the plate, spread the leek sauce in a mirror pattern and lay the rolled amaranth slices on top, almost like roses. Decorate the plate with the fried amaranth, jelly cubes, julienned basil leaves and a few pansies. Season with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Summer dinner dessert

Thinking of a Cassata by Beppe Allegretta


Pistachio madeleine bisque Sheep’s milk ricotta cream Lemon candied fruit Passion fruit 70% Valrhona almond paste Lime powder Bergamot gel


For the Bisquit madeleine with pistachio and white chocolate

Liquid butter: 40 g
Powdered sugar: 40 g
Whole eggs: 40 g
Pariani pistachio flour: 18 g
Cake and cookie flour: 18 g
Chocolate ivoire: 15 g

For the Sheep’s milk ricotta cream

Sheep ricotta cheese: 250 g
Caster sugar: 125 g
Ethyl alcohol buongusto: 5 g

For the Bergamot Sorbet

Fresh bergamot juice: 50 g
Water: 100 g
Caster sugar: 25 g
Neutral for sorbets: 1 g


Whip the butter with the powdered sugar, add the cold eggs, followed by the sifted powders. Spread the mixture in a baking pan baking everything at 190°C for 8 min. Cup with a round mold and keep aside.

Whip in a planetary mixer with a fine-mesh whisk the ricotta cheese with the caster sugar, adding the pure alcohol at the end, put in a poché bag and keep aside in the refrigerator.

Place the first two components in a saucepan, bring to 50°C and add the powders, reach 85°C, remove from heat and place in pacojet tombolins.

Place the pistachio bisquit on the bottom of the plate, create a round of ricotta cream with the sac a poché, place three cubes of lemon candied fruit in the center and place a ball of bergamot sorbet on top. Place a thin layer of almond paste cupped round, over it sprinkle with lime powder. Wipe the edge of the plate and serve.

Beppe Allegretta

The Perfect Summer Menu: 2 Recipes for the Perfect Dinner

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