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Posts Tagged ‘Georgio Locatelli’

Daffodils, warmer weather (occasionally … ), longer days, and spring vegetables arriving in the shops. Things are definitely looking up, at least in our kitchen if nowhere else.

Wine Suggestion: The asparagus cried out for the Höpler Grüner Veltliner lurking in the fridge waiting for spring to arrive. GV is one of the few varieties to work with asparagus and this dish isn’t shy of their flavours so a good match. Crisp pear and zesty lemon flavours overlay the hints of characteristic white pepper umami savouriness; this is so clean and vibrant it shouts the beginning of the season.

Asparagus, wild garlic & Gorgonzola risotto – serves 3

  • a bunch of asparagus, snap off and discard the woody ends
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
  • 40g butter and 25g of cold diced butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 250g superfino carnaroli rice
  • 60ml dry white wine
  • 40g Parmesan, grated
  • 60g Gorgonzola
  • a small handful of wild garlic leaves, finely chopped

Remove the tips from the asparagus and chop the stems into 3cm pieces.

Blanch the tips in a pan of salty boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Bring the stock the boil, then turn down and keep it at a bare simmer.

Melt 40g butter in a heavy-based pan, add the onion and asparagus stalks, then cook gently until the onion is soft and translucent, but not coloured.

Turn the heat up a little and add the rice. Stir for a couple of minutes until warm and coated with the butter and onion.

Add the wine and allow it to bubble up and almost disappear, then start adding the stock a ladle at a time. Keep stirring and only add more stock when the previous ladleful has been absorbed. Start tasting the rice after about 15 minutes, you want it to be soft but still with a little bite in the centre.

Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the cold butter, Parmesan, 20g of the Gorgonzola and the wild garlic. Season to taste, then ladle into warm bowls and garnish with the asparagus tips and the rest of the Gorgonzola.

(Original recipe from Made at Home by Giorgio Locatelli, 4th Estate, 2017.)

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Giorgio Locatelli is a great inspiration when it comes to our Italian cooking and he hasn’t disappointed with this recipe either; fully flavoured and rich, yet fresh and exceptionally easy to eat … Jono kept on creeping back to attack the leftovers! We used some Italian sausages from Sicily that we convinced a local Italian restaurant to sell us but you can use whatever sausage you like as long as they are good quality. Georgio uses another Italian sausage called Luganica which he says are small and peppery so you could try seeking these out too.

Risotto con luganica e piselli – to serve 4

  • 150g freshly podded peas
  • 2 good pork sausages (see tips above)
  • 2.5 litres of good chicken stock
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped very finely
  • 400g superfino carnaroli – we used regular carnaroli which worked fine
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato passata
For the mantecatura:
  • 75g cold butter, cut into small dice
  • 100g finely grated Parmesan
Blanch the peas in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes and drain. Crush one-third of them with a fork to make a coarse purée.

Chop the sausages into small pieces. Sauté half the chopped sausages in a pan until they are crispy and brown and set aside.

Bring your pot of stock to the boil and then turn it down so it is just simmering.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pot and add the onion and the other half of the sausages (that you didn’t sauté). Cook gently until the onion is softened but hasn’t changed colour – about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir around so it gets coated in butter. Make sure all the grains are warm, before adding the wine. Let the wine evaporate totally until the onion and rice are dry.

Start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously as you do so. Add the tomato passata along with the first ladeful. When each addition of stock has almost evaporated, add the next ladleful.

Carry on like this for about 15-17 minutes, continually adding stock as above. After about 12-14 minutes add, add the peas and the sausages that you sautéd earlier. Slow up on the stock when you get near the end so the rice doesn’t become too wet and soupy or it will get too sloppy when you add the butter and Parmesan at the end.

Turn the heat down and rest the risotto for a minute, then, for the mantecatura, use a wooden spoon to vigorously beat in the cold diced butter and finally the Parmesan, making sure you shake the pan hard while you beat. Season to taste and serve.

(Original recipe from Made in Italy: Food and Stories by Georgio Locatelli, published by Fourth Estate 2006)

Wine Suggestion: We suggest you serve the rest of the white that you used in the recipe. We went for a Falanghina made by Catello Ducale in Campania, the heel of Italy. The risotto is rich so you want a white wine that ‘s  reasonably full bodied and full of fruit, but maintaining freshness  which southern Italian whites like this often bring. Alternately you could try a fruity and medium bodied red with some acidity, again an Italian blend with some sangiovese would work a treat.

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