LOMBARDIA MARE & TRUFFLE NOVEMBER - STEP BY STEP GUIDE

Nestled in the far north and shadowed by the magnificence of the Italian Alps is you will find Lombardia, one of my favourite regions. Whenever I visit, I like to lose myself in the great expanse of the Valle Padana where the food is rich, and the people are warm.

Here tables creak under the weight of Ossobuco, literally translated as ‘the bone with the hole’, Scallops baked in their shells, saffron infused risotto and copious amounts of Bresaola, the queen of cold cuts. We have brought all these together in our latest feast, which finishes with a chunk of creamy Casera cheese, the decadent sweetness of Chocolate Salumi and a handful of sweet grapes.

BRESAOLA
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OSSOBUCO, RISOTTO MILANESE & TRUFFLE
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BAKED SCALLOPS WITH PARMESAN, LEMON & THYME
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CASERA CHEESE, GRAPES & CHOCOLATE SALAME

For your meal you will need:

  • Serving dishes for the Bresaola and for the cheese, grapes & chocolate salame platter
  • A baking tray for the scallops
  • A medium saucepan for the risotto
  • A truffle slicer, mandolin or grater for the truffles

Bresaola

The queen of cold cuts - this raw fillet of beef tenderloin has been salted and air-dried and is a specialty of Valtellina in Lombardia where it is always served as an antipasto. It is delicate yet sharp and can be eaten on its own, or with a little oil and few drops of lemon juice.

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • Sliced bresaola
  • Caprino
  • A bunch of rocket

Directions:

  • Remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving
  • Present the slices of bresaola around the caprino on a large plate or wooden board

 

Scallops

Italians will tell you there is a cardinal rule that seafood must never, ever, be served with cheese. What they don’t tell you is that they’re really not very good at obeying rules. Here we have a rule-breakingly good dish of scallops baked with parmesan crumbs, scented with lemon zest and thyme. Mum’s the word.

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • Two fat scallops, on the half shell
  • A little butter
  • Some Breadcrumbs, flavoured with parmesan, lemon zest & thyme
  • Half a lemon

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 230C (fan) or 240C (static)
  • Season the scallops with salt & pepper, then dot with the butter
  • Loosely mound the breadcrumbs atop, then pop into the oven
  • Bake for 6-10 minutes, until the crumbs are crisp and golden, and the scallops lightly cooked
  • Serve with the lemon

Ossobuco

Literally translated as the bone in the hole, one of my favourite Italian food translations.  Tender meat and rich and creamy bone marrow combine to deliver this exquisite Lombardian showpiece.

Your pack serves two as a starter and contains:

  • Ossobuco with its liquor
  • Gremolata
  • A truffle

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 160C (fan) or 170C (static)
  • Take the ossobuco from the bag, and remove the lid of the container
  • Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbling, and serve hot
  • Shave/grate vast quantities of truffle on top – if using a truffle slicer or mandolin, turn the gauge to 0 (so that the blade is sitting flat against the surface), then slowly open it by quarter turns, trying to shave a little truffle each time – the objective is to obtain whole slices of truffle, but as thin and transparent as they can possibly be. If using a grater, simply grate the truffle through fine holes

 

Risotto Milanese

One of the pillars of Milanese cuisine, Risotto Milanese is the only risotto that is served as an accompaniment. Flavoured with saffron from Abruzzo, it is the ideal partner to ossobuco!

Your pack serves two as a main and contains:

  • Arborio rice
  • Parmesan

Directions:

  • In a medium pan, bring 475ml water to a boil
  • Add the rice and use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps
  • Cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time
  • When the rice is just cooked, remove from the heat, then add the butter, oil and parmesan (if using), and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon
  • Let sit for one minute, then serve on warmed plates

 

Cheese & Grapes

Hopefully you still have room left for something to finish. What could be better than a rich and creamy helping of Casera cheese -still made today using techniques developed in the 16th Century, decadent chocolate salame and a handful of sweet grapes.

Your pack serves two as a dessert and contains:

  • Casera cheese
  • Chocolate salame
  • A handful of grapes

Directions:

  • Remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving
  • Arrange the casera, grapes and chocolate salame on large plate or chopping board and serve

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