Simplicity in cooking is close to perfection.
As my friend and colleague Ronnie Distastio says “the main ingredient in Italian cooking is Restraint”
My favourite – Pappardelle with fresh tomato and basil, best when tomatoes are in season, easy quick 10 minute meal…
(If you haven’t got time for fresh pasta use the Rustichella d’abruzzo, Artisan dry pasta)
We love Italian fare here in Australia. How has she seen the landscape change over the years for Italian cuisine?
The typical Australian menu in the mid 1900’s was a shock to the European migrants who were coming here in increasing numbers.
Naturally the foods they grew and prepared reflected their traditions.
The first Italian restaurants were generic Pizza and Pasta, over the 40 years people have realised that Italian cuisine is healthy & all about fresh, and great ingredients. The diversity nowadays is remarkable.
While today they call it foraging, but my mother and I were doing this 40 years ago, picking wild fennel and wild spinach from the paddocks.
Now Italian restaurants are defined by their regional cooking…
Osso Buco and Safron Risotto, a wonderful slow cooked Osso Buco in a rich sauce on a safron risotto.
Abbacchio alla Romana, a beautiful braised baby goat Romana style.
Cotechino with lentil braise, a special Italian cured sausage with braised lentil.
Olimpia shares her recipe for Osso Buco and Saffron Risotto for you to try at home this Winter!
Osso Buco and saffron risotto
100 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 kg veal osso buco
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 tablespoon garlic, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
1 bottle red wine
1 kg tinned crushed tomatoes
2 litres chicken stock
salt and pepper
Combine the flour and paprika, then lightly dust the osso buco in the flour mixture.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and seal the meat. Remove osso buco and drain the hot oil.
Add olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, anchovies and lemon zest, and sweat down for 10 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce by 2/3, then add tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Return osso buco to the pan and simmer gently, covered, for 2 hours, until meat is tender and sauce has reduced. Season to taste and serve with saffron risotto