Chef Apreda - Capellini pasta with garlic, olive oil and chilli pepper, smoked eel and cocoa powder

If you recall, we visited Imago in Rome during our global culinary tour in August. It was simply amazing and I made sure to take the chance to thank Chef Francesco Apreda afterward. To my surprise, he not only acknowledged my tweet but was very kind enough to provide two of his amazing recipes to use on Gourmet Male! So this is the first of two guest blogs by one of my favourite chefs. Thanks, Chef! Gourmet Males everywhere will thank you!

Capellini pasta with garlic, olive oil and chilli pepper, smoked eel and cocoa powder_ Capellini aglio olio e peperoncino anguilla affumicata e cacao amaro 01.jpg

Chef Francesco Apreda, Imàgo restaurant

250gr capellini 


  • 400 gr parsnip,
  • 400ml milk,
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 1kg sea bass bones,
  • celery,
  • carrot,
  • onion,
  • 150ml white wine,
  • 200gr tomatoes


  • 100gr smoked eel,
  • 20gr fresh chilli peppers,
  • 30gr fresh garlic,
  • 30gr parsley,
  • 10gr powdered bitter cocoa,
  • extra virgin olive oil

 FISH REDUCTION: wash, remove eyes and gills, then sauté the fish bones in a pan with oil and chopped celery, onion and carrot, then add the wine and leave to evaporate. Cover with cold water and ice and add the parsley stems; simmer gently for about 2 hours. Filter the broth with a chinoise and then through a cheesecloth; reduce to about a half on the flame, obtaining a concentrated, dense consommé.

PARSNIP CREAM: cook the peeled and finely sliced parsnip in the milk with a bay leaf and salt. When it is overcooked, drain and blend, adding, if necessary some of the cooking liquid, season with salt and filter through a fine chinoise.

FINISHING TOUCHES: pour the broth into a saucepan and add the angel-hair pasta. Just before the pasta is done, add the chopped smoked eel, chopped fresh garlic and parsley and the chilli pepper brunoise. When the pasta is cooked “al dente” (firm), cream with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and finally add a tomato concassé. Serve the angel-hair pasta slightly watery with the parsnip cream and sprinkle with bitter cocoa.