Bringing the Joy of Italian Food to the West Loop

Gioia means joy in Italian and that’s exactly what Gioia Chicago brings to the city’s West Loop. Here in our Studio 41 kitchen, with a glimpse of one of their signature dishes, is Chef Federico Comacchio.

1133 W Randolph

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Tempura-fried pumpkin blossoms, pizzaiola tomato sauce, roasted garlic and anchovy-infused oil

For 4 people

  • 12 pumpkin blossoms
  • 8 zucchini
  • 2 shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella
  • 2 egg whites, whipped
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 6 black olives
  • 1 teaspoon of capers
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 2 cups tempura batter

1) Remove the stigmas from the squash flowers and cut 4 zucchini into pieces
2) Sear the chopped shallots and 1 garlic clove with EVOO, then add the zucchini and quickly cook, seasoning with salt and white pepper
3) Place the cooked zucchini in the blender with the mozzarella in pieces, mix, and put everything in a bowl
4) When the mixture is cold, add the 2 whipped egg whites and refrigerate
5) Once cooled, place the mixture in a piping bag and stuff the pumpkin flowers
6) Blanch the tomatoes and remove the skin and seeds
7) Chop the tomatoes and place them in a bowl, adding the chopped olives, capers, 1 clove of garlic and oregano leaves. Season with salt and white pepper, EVOO and a squeeze of lemon juice
8) Prepare a tempura batter
9) Take the last 4 zucchinis and cut them in a mandolin as if they were spaghetti and sauté them with EVOO
10) Dip stuffed squash flowers in tempura batter and fry in vegetable oil
11) On a serving dish, place the zucchini spaghetti topped with tomato sauce, finished with 3 squash flowers per person
12) Roast the remaining garlic with the anchovies in EVOO, mix in the blender and sprinkle the squash blossoms just before serving.

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