Bringing a taste of Sicily to Frankfurt, Dario Cammarata combines Italian emotion and authenticity with German precision and produce. As Executive Chef at Villa Kennedy, Dario crafts creative menus for Gusto restaurant, where he’s known for his distinctive and flavoursome dishes, such as his Ravioli Green Sauce. We sat down with Dario to talk about his unique cooking style and how to make his famous signature dish.
You have spoken of learning to cook from your Sicilian mother. What are the key lessons she taught you?
“The majority of my cooking skills are based on what I’ve learned from my mother. I’ve always loved watching her cook and started to support her as a ‘Sous Chef’ at a very early age. There are three key lessons my mother taught me. The first is product: the choice of the right product is very important when cooking. That’s why I rely on good quality regional products. The second is a love of detail. This is what makes a good dish! The final lesson is to take your time. Cooking means acting out your creativity. To do this, you need time.”
How would you define your cooking style?
“My mum always said that I was very ‘German’, even when I was small. I’ve always been very precise and structured in everything I do, which apparently is very characteristic of German people. In my cooking, it’s the smallest details that count. When cooking, I have a very specific mental picture of what the dish has to look like. At the same time, I’m very emotional, which is very Italian. I’m always trying out different things, adding something new to a recipe, substituting an ingredient or leaving something out. My cooking style is a combination of German precision with an authentic, Mediterranean heart.”
Tell us about your popular signature dish, Ravioli Green Sauce. What makes this dish so special?
“I believe this dish is the perfect union between Italy and Frankfurt. At Rocco Forte Hotels, the destination plays a huge role and can be found in many different ways throughout the hotels, from the interiors to the kitchen. We want our guests to be aware of their surroundings and know where they are. This unique ravioli stuffed with seven Frankfurt Green Sauce herbs combines the Italian flair of our restaurant with the destination’s most famous dish. It’s very fresh and round in its taste and, at the same time, so simple. I can’t think of a better signature dish for Gusto.”
How to Make: Ravioli Green Sauce
Pasta dough ingredients:
250g Semolino (durum wheat semolina) flour
15 egg yolks
3 tablespoons olive oil
250g Ricotta cheese
1 pack of Frankfurt Green Sauce herbs (7 different herbs: borage, chervil, cress, parsley, pimpinella, sorrel, chives)
150g parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients for the dough, so that a compact and even mixture appears. Let it stand for a while.
To make the stuffing, wash and chop the herbs. Mix them with the ricotta cheese. Cover it with parmesan cheese.
Roll the pasta dough so that it’s very thin and cut it into circles. Put the stuffing in the middle of each ravioli and form it into a half moon shape. Let it cool.
Simmer the ravioli in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle melted butter over the pasta and then sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Garnish with the remaining herbs and serve.
Sample Dario Cammarata’s dishes, including his famous Ravioli Green Sauce, at Gusto restaurant at Villa Kennedy.