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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Risotto with Sausage and Peas

Last week end we had the pleasure of attending the long Lunch at Rylstone Olive Press.
The growers  and manufacturers of my favourite olive oil.
Rylstone has continued to win awards more recently at The New York International Olive Oil competition. They have won the highest award of any Australian olive oil to date beating over 700 oils from all over the world.
A true credit to the hard work and insight of Jayne and Peter Bentivoglio, and the team.
We were guests of the Bentivoglios an Friday night for a casual dinner in a  purpose built shed overlooking the olive groves. What a divine setting, sipping champagne as the sun went down over the mountains.
The Olive Groves

Self, James Brown( Manager  Rylstone) and Sam McKay

 Michael Want, Matteo, Giovanni, Alice Wood
Barb Sullivan and Prue Puskar (Rylstone)

Saturday we headed out for the lunch in the building that houses the actual press.
 It is little more than a press , it is more like someones very large home with a wonderful ambiance . After a tour  of the press and pre lunch drinks, 80 were seated comfortably to begin our feast.
 We immersed ourselves in the 4 course menu of Giovanni Pilu from Pilu at Freshwater in Sydney.
Of course all the food was cooked with Rylstone Olive Oil and we also got to sample the range with our antipasti.
One of the highlights of the meal for me, besides the dessert was the risotto.
Absolutely sublime, the most delicious risotto I have ever tasted. One of those occasions when you want to keep eating, but know there is more to follow.
Lots of eating and drinking well into the evening, a great day was had by all.
Then on Tuesday I was lucky enough to be asked to attend a cooking demonstration of risotto and olive oil with Giovanni Pilu and Alessandro Pavoni from Ormeggio.
The chefs were at William Blue Hospitality School with Jayne Bentivoligio, the dynamic founder of Rylstone Olive Oil.
We were taught many things about olive oil the good and the bad. A very informative talk from Jayne. I will never buy some of those supermarket oils again !!
Well that risotto did it for me. I had to come home and try to create as well as they did.
One is never too old to learn and I learnt that day that you never serve the risotto piled up in a dish.
It must always be served on a flat plate so the grains aren't on top of each other and continually cooking.
This risotto is a variation of Alessandro Pavoni's and we all thought it was pretty delicious.
The chefs also prefer Canaroli rice to Arborio rice which they feel is better for Arancini. Aquarello rice being the one of choice for the chefs.

2 cups of Canaroli Rice
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
150 mls white wine
 3 litres chicken stock
4 Italian sausages
300 grams of peas
200 grams pecorino cheese
100 grams butter
Rylstone Olive oil

Put the stock into a pot and bring to the boil, then turn down to a rolling simmer.
Also put the wine into a saucepan and heat till nearly boiling.
Remove the sausages from their casings and cook in a little olive oil and chop them as you half cook them, similar to cooking mince. Set aside, leaving the remainder of the cooking to happen with the rice.
Next fry the onions and garlic in a little more olive oil until transparent and also set aside. Be careful not to burn them.
Heat  a spoon of butter in a large pot on top of the stove, with a little olive oil to stop it burning.
Add the rice and stir it thoroughly till it is quite hot and all the grains are coated in the butter and oil.
Don't let it burn.
Add the hot wine and don't stir, just let it absorb the liquid. Shake the pan to move it around.
Next ladle the hot stock ladle at a time until the rice is just covered and leave until the liquid is absorbed.
Add the onion and sausage and start stirring.  Heat 200 grams of the peas and puree them and add
 to the rice . Lastly add the whole peas.
Keep ladling until the rice is cooked, al dente. Stirring the liquid through. Season if needed. Remember the cheese and stock are salty but I feel it needs salt to bring out the flavours.
 It must still have a slight crunch. The mixture mustn't be too dry it actually should be quite wet.
 Let it it sit for a minute.
Then add big knobs of  the remaining butter and the grated pecorino cheese and let sit for 2 minutes.
Shake the pan to mix it, if you can't, give it a light stir. Drizzle with  extra olive oil.
Place onto a flat plate and give it a light tap on the bench to spread it further.
Serve at the table, sprinkle with a little more cheese and let the guests serve themselves. Yum Yum !

I would love to try your favourite risotto recipe !!

Our menu
Early start, drinks in the courtyard of the press

Before Lunch

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