In this series, we trek the globe in search of creative cuisine, innovative menus and forward-thinking chefs for this mouth-watering roundup of Harper-favorite restaurants. From locally sourced produce in Napa Valley to modern Italian dishes in Brazil, our selections in global cuisine will ignite your appetite for both food and travel.
Home to one of Rome’s most innovative chefs, “this stylish place offers an eclectic menu of Italian classics and fusion food,” says Mr. Harper. An intimate space with only 11 tables, Chef Anthony Genovese describes the restaurant’s cuisine as “refined, unique and unmistakable. A mix between classical and modern.” Il Pagliaccio, meaning “the clown,” combines colors, ingredients, spices, emotions, movement and places to create a delicious carnival of flavors.
On the Menu: “Every dish is an emotion, that’s why I create them. [But] the ziti pasta with rockfish (striped bass) and artichokes is a very autobiographical dish.”
At Home: “Our favorite dishes are often the ones we tasted when we were children. So if I have time to cook for myself at home, I like to recover those flavors.”
Fillet one 1-lb striped bass. Set aside fillets. Place fish bones, head and tail into a large high-sided pot with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and cook over high flame for 20 minutes without browning. Add one small chopped onion, a stalk of chopped celery, two cloves of garlic and 3-5 parsley stems; sauté lightly for 5 minutes without browning. Cover with 1L water. Boil 20 minutes, then strain, reserving fish broth and discarding fish bones and vegetables.
Clean one artichoke by clipping sharp leaf tops, and cook it in a vacuum-sealed bag with olive oil, lemon skins and thyme for 25 minutes at 185° F; alternatively, boil artichoke in heavily acidulated water with thyme until tender. Once cooled, remove petals and cook until crisp in a pan with olive oil. Salt to taste.
Whisk together 1 egg yolk with 2 Tbsp of cooled fish broth; whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil into the mixture until emulsified. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a single mixing bowl and emulsify using an immersion blender. Salt to taste.
Boil two servings of Ziti pasta in a large pot of heavily-salted water until al dente.
To finish: In a medium sauté pan, cover the seasoned fillets in fish broth, reserving 1/4 cup fish broth for reheating Ziti, and poach slowly over medium heat until cooked. Before serving, over medium-high heat, add cooked Ziti to remaining fish broth with a tablespoon of unsalted butter and some lemon juice, like beurre fondue, to reheat. Place poached fish over Ziti and add fish mayonnaise and artichokes. Garnish with fresh fennel and carrot leaves, if desired.