Sometimes I like a little Italian with my French copper.
- Type: Tin-lined pan in hammered finish with two brass handles fastened with three copper rivets and brass lid handle fastened with one copper rivet on each bracket
- French description: Pot à mi-chemin entre un rondeau et une poêle à paella, étamé et martelé avec poignées de laiton munies de trois rivets en cuivre; couvercle emboîté avec poignée de laiton munie d’un rivet en cuivre sur chaque support
- Italian description: Padella con due maniglie in ottone dotate di tre rivetti in rame con coperchio con maniglia in ottone dotata di un rivetto in rame su ciascuna staffa
- Dimensions: 30cm diameter by 6.5cm tall (11.8 inches by 2.6 inches)
- Thickness: 2.5mm at rim
- Weight: 2952g (6.51 lbs) without lid, 3974g (7.88 lbs) with lid
- Stampings: Bottega del Rame
- Maker and age: Bottega del Rame; 2019
- Source: Rameria Mazzetti, rameria.com
The folks at Bottega del Rame call this una padella due manici con coperchio, which means simply “two-handed pan with lid.” I’d describe it as halfway between a rondeau and a paella pan (which is what I’ve attempted to do in the French version above, over the cries of dismay from the Academie Française). The curve from the base to the sidewall is not as abrupt as for a rondeau (or sauté pan, for that matter), but the pan is deeper than a paella pan, which in my experience is no taller than 2 inches. The large curve radius strikes a great compromise: while it reduces the area of the pan floor that is absolutely flat, the curve is gradual enough that you can still use it right up to the vertical rise. Another benefit is that the large radius eliminates any “corners” where a wooden spoon would miss food. This is a beautifully designed piece, in addition to being visually stunning.
I have a big soft spot for the work of master coppersmith Cesare Mazzetti at the renowned Rameria Mazzetti, which sells its copper under the Bottega del Rame brand. These are truly handmade pieces: every item is hand-raised from a copper sheet, meaning Cesare starts with a flat disc of copper that he laboriously hammers into shape. If part of your attraction to copper is the experience of owning and using hand-built items, this is something you should consider. The Rameria will also take custom orders for things like high-thickness copper and helper handles, and will provide silver linings at a relatively thick 15 microns. I also find their prices to be very reasonable against comparable items from other makers.
Cesare will likely be retiring within a few years, and at the moment there is no succession plan, so strike while the copper is hot, so to speak. I mean, just look at his work.
The hammering is integral to the making of the pan and not a cosmetic addition. This work-hardens the copper so that it is more resilient against dings and dents. This is a piece meant for work, not just for display.
The interior tinning is a beautiful matte surface. The rim measures 2.5mm but I believe the copper sheet is 3mm. When Cesare hammers the copper into the pan shape there is by necessity some thinning of the copper. The base remains thick 3mm, however, which conveys most of the benefits of copper at this thickness.
The handles are brass and affixed with three copper rivets. You should insist on three rivets when at all possible as this provides improved sturdiness to the handles.
Cesare’s lids are gorgeous as well, and also lightly hammered.
The inside of the lid also showcases the matte finish of the tin.
Every surface of this pan has been shaped by hand.
The Bottega del Rame logo includes a small “M. C.”, which I suspect refers to Cesare Mazzetti. It is a pleasure to have his workmanship in my kitchen.
Rondella? Pandeau? I’m not sure what to call this, but it’s a lovely useful piece and I can’t wait to put it to work.