A recipe by Massimo Bottura, taken from Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Ingredients for the capon stock

1.5 kg capon, cleaned and guts removed
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1 white onion
3 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
200 g Parmigiano Reggiano crusts
10 g black pepper
30 g sea salt


Cover the capon with 10 kg cold water in a large pan.

Rinse the vegetables and add them to the pan with the herbs, pepper and salt.

Grate in the Parmigiano, bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 hours.

Strain through a chinois.

Ingredients for the potato cream 

2 leeks
1 large white onion
1 garlic clove, unpeeled
2 g extra-virgin olive oil
500 g reserved capon stock
250 g potatoes, quartered and steamed
1 g sea salt
1 g white pepper


Wash the leeks thoroughly, removing any traces of soil.

Slice the onion and leeks into thin rounds and steam them for 7–8 minutes. Blanch the garlic clove, drain it and set aside. Sauté the onion and leeks in the olive oil, along with the garlic.

Add a little capon stock and continue cooking over low heat. Add the steamed potatoes and remaining stock.

When the flavours have amalgamated completely, purée and pass through a fine sieve, adjusting the consistency with extra stock if necessary.

Season with salt and pepper. The mixture should have a smooth, velvety texture. Keep warm.

Ingredients for the foam

1 leek
2 shallots
1 tablespoon butter
25 ml double (heavy) cream
10 g reserved capon stock
1 g sea salt


Wash the leek thoroughly, removing any traces of soil. Cut it into pieces and steam it.

Finely chop the shallots and sauté them in butter. Add the cream, stock and leeks. Reduce, season with salt, purée and pass through a fine sieve.

Cool quickly over an ice bath. Transfer the mixture to a siphon and charge with 2 cartridges.

 Ingredients for the croissant

250 g plain (all-purpose) white flour
8 g fresh (brewers’) yeast
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
4 g sea salt
15 g sugar
200 g softened butter
100 g ciccioli frolli


Make a mound of one quarter of the flour on the work surface and make a well in the centre. Combine the yeast with 10 g tepid water and carefully pour it into the centre of the mound. Gradually fold in the flour and knead until it has combined and formed a soft dough.

Transfer to a bowl and make 2 slashes in the surface with a sharp knife. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place for 3 hours.

Place the remaining flour in a large bowl, add the beaten eggs and mix well until the dough has a smooth, elastic consistency. Add the salt, sugar, butter and ciccioli frolli and mix until well distributed.

Gently combine the reserved risen dough, taking care to knock as little of the air out as possible.

Lightly dust a large bowl with flour and transfer the dough to it. Leave it to rest for 3–4 hours in a warm place. Turn the risen dough out on to the work surface and knead it energetically until smooth and elastic. Leave to rest for another 6–7 hours in a warm, dry place.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Shape into tiny croissants about 5–6 cm (2–2½ inches) long. Let them rest, covered, for 30 minutes, then bake them for 15 minutes.

To serve 


2 g extra-virgin olive oil

4 g traditional balsamic vinegar


Pour the hot potato cream into a cappuccino cup and top with the foam, directly from the siphon. Drizzle with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and serve with a croissant.

Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

Osteria Francescana is Italy’s most celebrated restaurant. At Osteria Francescana, chef Massimo Bottura takes inspiration from contemporary art to create highly innovative dishes that play with Italian culinary traditions. It’s an approach that has won him three Michelin stars and the number three place on the World's 50 Best Restaurant list.

Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is a tribute to Bottura’s twenty-five year career and the evolution of Osteria Francescana. Divided into four chapters, each one dealing with a different period, the book features 50 recipes and accompanying texts explaining Bottura’s inspiration, ingredients and techniques. Illustrated with photography by Stefano Graziani and Carlo Benvenuto, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef is the first book from Bottura - the leading figure in modern Italian gastronomy.