Classic Italian Recipes

From September Wine Tasting

Risi e Bisi (Pea Risotto)

Pairing – VenetoSantome Prosecco Treviso Extra Dry


800g of fresh peas in the pod
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, halved
3l water
1 pinch of salt


10g of butter
1 dash of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
100g of pancetta, cubed
400g of Vialone Nano risotto rice
125ml of Prosecco
150g of stracchino


flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. Shell the peas then place the empty pods, carrot and onion in a large saucepan together with the water and salt.
  2. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid to use as stock.
  3. Melt the butter with a little olive oil in a large, non-stick saucepan. Soften the onion over a low heat until translucent, for about 3 minutes. Add the pancetta cubes and continue to cook until the pancetta has turned pink, for about another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the rice to the pan, turn up the heat slightly and mix together with the onion and pancetta, stirring all the time with a wooden spatula. After 3–4 minutes, pour in all of the Prosecco – there will be a dramatic ‘woosh’ and a cloud of steam.
  5. Begin to add the stock, one ladleful at a time, and keep stirring until it has all been absorbed by the rice. Repeat this process until the rice is almost cooked, but still a little al dente. This will take about 15 minutes depending on the rice. About halfway through the cooking time, add the podded peas and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Remove the risotto from the heat, cover, and leave to rest for about 5 minutes. In this time the rice will continue to cook.
  7. Add the stracchino cheese and fold it into the risotto until it has melted. If the risotto is too dry at this point add another ladleful of stock.
  8. Serve immediately in bowls, topped with shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a little chopped parsley. Enjoy with the rest of the bottle of Prosecco.

Pasta Con Le Sarde

Pairing – SicilyTonnino Pinot Grigio Ramato


1 box of linguine, or other long pasta
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 fennel, finely diced (fennel tops reserved)
5 anchovies, chopped
50ml of white wine
1 pinch of saffron
40g of pine nuts
40g of raisins
4 sardines, prepared into 8 fillets
1 lemon
2 tbsp of olive oil
breadcrumbs, toasted


  1. Cook the pasta in a pan of heavily salted boiling water for 8–10 minutes, or as per packet instructions.
  2. Add the onion, fennel and anchovies to a frying pan set over a low-medium heat with the olive oil and fry until soft, but not colored. The anchovies will melt into the sauce.
  3. Once soft, add the Tonnino Pinot Grigio with a pinch of saffron and turn up the heat. Reduce until the pan is nearly dry then stir in the pine nuts and raisins.
  4. Slice the sardine fillets into 3 or 4 pieces then add to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, being careful not to stir too much or the fish will fall apart.
  5. Drain the pasta then add to the pan and gently toss to coat the pasta.
  6. Season with a little lemon zest and a squeeze of the juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
  7. Divide between bowls and garnish with toasted breadcrumbs and the fennel tops.

Rabbit Ragù w/ Tagliatelle Pasta

Pairing – VenetoItalo Cescon Pinot Noir


1 rabbit, cleaned and boned (yielding about 500g meat), finely chopped
45g of unsalted butter
30ml of extra virgin olive oil
100g of pancetta, minced
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
3 sage leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
180ml of dry white wine
480ml of vegetable stock
45ml of passata
15g of tomato purée
fine salt
freshly ground black pepper

Serve With

450g of tagliatelle, fresh
100g of Parmesan, grated


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan set over a medium heat. Once hot, add the pancetta and pan-fry until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes
  2. Next add the onion, carrot, celery, sage and rosemary and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 4–5 minutes, stirring often
  3. At this point, stir in the chopped rabbit meat and increase the heat to medium-high. Brown it on all sides for about 5 minutes, then pour in the wine, stock, tomato sauce and purée. Once the sauce is simmering, reduce the heat to low and cover
  4. Cook the ragù for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if the liquid reduces too quickly. By the end you should have a red-blushed, thick sauce with meat that almost falls apart. Taste and adjust the seasoning; discard the sage and rosemary, remove from the heat and set aside
  5. Next, bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil. Lower in the tagliatelle and cook for 3–4 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, set the rabbit ragù back over a medium heat. When the pasta is ready, drain it and top with the ragù. Toss until any water has been absorbed and the pasta is well-coated with the sauce. Serve with a generous dusting of Parmesan

Paglia e Fieno (Straw & Hay)

Pairing – TuscanyCafaggio Chianti Classico


2 Tablespoons butter
1/4lb thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
1 cup heavy cream
1lb fresh green and white fettuccine or tagliatelle
2 cups frozen green peas
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese plus additional for serving


  1. Slice the prosciutto into thin strips. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring until it starts to crisp up, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the cream, salt and pepper, and peas. Cook until the sauce has thickened, 2-3 minutes. Take the sauce off the heat.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook uncovered over high heat until al dente and drain.
  4. Place the pan with the sauce back over medium heat, add the pasta, and grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese to the pan and toss until well coated. Serve with additional grated cheese on the side.

Agnello Cacio e Ova

Pairing – AbruzzoFantini Montepulciano


800g of lamb shoulder, diced
2 onions, diced
300ml of white wine
200ml of vegetable stock
2 eggs
40g of pecorino, grated
olive oil
chopped parsley, rosemary to garnish


  1. Sweat down the onions in a dash of oil in a large pan until translucent but not colored.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and add to the pan. Turn occasionally until browned on all sides, decanting a little fat occasionally if there’s a lot being released from the lamb.
  3. Once all the meat is browned, add the white wine and stock and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Once the liquid has reduced by three quarters, remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
  5. In a jug, whisk the eggs then stir in the grated Pecorino.
  6. Once the meat has cooled a little – it should be still warm but not too hot to scramble the egg – stir in the egg mixture. It should emulsify with the meat to create a lovely creamy sauce.
  7. Garnish with a handful of chopped parsley and sprig of rosemary.

Pasta w/ Dried Mushroom Ragu

Pairing – PeimonteMonchiero Nebbiolo


4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. corzetti or orecchiette pasta
3/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups veal stock
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup minced parsley


  1. Place porcinis in a bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water; let sit until softened, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer porcinis to a cutting board and roughly chop; reserve 1⁄2 cup soaking liquid.
  2. Bring a 6-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup pasta water; toss pasta with 1⁄4 cup oil and set aside.
  3. Wipe pan dry and add remaining oil and the garlic; heat over medium-high. Cook until garlic is soft, 1–2 minutes. Add cremini and shiitake mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7–9 minutes. Add reserved porcinis and their soaking liquid, the stock, salt, and pepper; simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, 5–7 minutes. Stir in reserved pasta and pasta water, plus half the parmesan and 3 tbsp. of the parsley. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and parsley.

Mortadella Stuffed Rigatoni


olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
150ml of red wine
800g of tinned San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
1 handful of rocket
1 handful of basil leaves
salt & pepper


150g of ricotta
100g of Provolone cheese, grated
75g of mozzarella cheese, grated
100g of mortadella, finely diced
1 egg
salt & pepper


300g of rigatoni pasta
50g of mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
pecorino, grated
basil leaves


  1. To begin, make the tomato sauce. Sauté the onion and garlic in a splash of oil until soft. Add the thyme and red wine.
  2. Reduce the wine by three quarters. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 25 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  3. Stir in the rocket and basil leaves and turn off the heat. Set aside.
  4. Cook the rigatoni in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with a little olive oil to stop the pasta sticking together.
  5. Mix the filling ingredients together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a piping bag.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.
  7. Pipe some filling into each rigatoni tube and place the filled pasta in a baking dish.
  8. Pour half of the sauce over the pasta, giving a gentle stir to coat evenly, then pour over the rest of the sauce. Spread the torn mozzarella over the top then cover with a generous grating of Pecorino. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  9. Season with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with fresh basil.