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Italian Classics Risotto & Arancini – Pea & Mint Risotto; Mozzarella Arancini;

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Our cookery classes are as much about learning to cook as they are a sociable experience. We hope you enjoyed your evening and are ready to recreate the meals at home. The recipes work really well as delicious dinners and make a great combination for dinner party ideas. 

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Pea, Lemon & Mint Risotto;

Red Pepper Arancini with Spinach and Herb Veloutè & Herb Pesto

Pea, Lemon & Mint Risotto

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – oil 1tbsp
  • – butter 50g
  • – parmesan grated 50g
  • – garlic 3 cloves, crushed
  • – onion 1, finely chopped
  • – risotto rice 300g
  • – white wine 150ml
  • – vegetable stock 1-2 litre, hot (amount of liquid depends on how fast you cook your rice/gas hob vs induction hob etc)
  • – sprig of thyme
  • – tbsp of mascarpone (optional)

Method:

  1. Add oil in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic with some seasoning for 5 minutes until soft. Add thyme, tip in the rice and stir until every grain is coated, then pour in the wine and bubble for 5 minutes. Add the stock a ladle at a time, while stirring, only adding more once the previous batch has been absorbed.
  2.  
  3. Once the rice is cooked, stir through the butter and parmesan, and mascarpone (if using).

Vegetable Stock

Ingredients – Serves 6:

  • – 2 medium onions, halved
  • – 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • – 1 to 2medium celery stalks, chopped
  • – Leek or fennel tops, chopped
  • – 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • – Handful of fresh parsley
  • – 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • – 3 bay leaves
  • – 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • – 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • – 10 to 12cups filtered water

Method:

  1. Place the onions, carrots, celery, leek tops, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper and water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat (If 12 cups of water won’t fit in your pot, you can use 10). Reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered, for 1 hour.
  2.  
  3. Strain and discard the vegetables. Season to taste and use in your favorite soup recipes.

Red Pepper & Mozzarella Arancini

Ingredients:

  • – 1/2 bulb of mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • – 1 roasted red pepper (could be from jar), sliced
  • – 500g Risotto rice, cooked and chilled thoroughly
  • – 1 egg
  • – Bowl of plain flour
  • – Bowl of breadcrumbs
  • – Vegetable oil for frying
  • – Parsley, handful chopped
  • – Lemon zest

Method:

  1. Form a rough ball out of risotto rice, about 3cm big.
  2.  
  3. Flatten the ball, stuff with red pepper and mozzarella, turn into a ball again, neater this time, carry on with the rest of the rice.
  4.  
  5. Get a 3 separate mixing bowl ready, place flour in the first, beaten egg in the second and breadcrumbs in third.
  6.  
  7. Dip your risotto balls in the same order, coating the arancini without any uncoated patches.
  8.  
  9. Heat up enough oil to cover arancini halfway on medium-high heat and fry until golden.
  10.  
  11. If you made larger balls of rice you might need to place them through the oven on 180C for 5 minutes to melt the cheese in the centre.

Spinach & Herb Veloutè

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – 2 tbsp olive oil
  • – 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • – 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • – Salt
  • – 100ml dry white wine
  • – 6 cups baby spinach (washed)
  • – ½ bunch of chives
  • – ½ bunch of parsley
  • – ¼ bunch of basil
  • – 3 cups vegetable stock (hot)
  • – ⅓ cup of double cream 
  • – freshly ground peppers

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan set over a medium heat until hot.
  2.  
  3. Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened.
  4.  
  5. Add the wine and boil for 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
  6.  
  7. Add the spinach, stir well, and cover with the stock. Cook until simmering, then continue to cook steadily for a further 5 minutes.
  8.  
  9. Add the cream, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes Do not boil. Add all the herbs at this point. Blend with a stick blender until smooth. You can pass the sauce through a fine strainer for extra smooth results.
  10.  
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Herb Pesto

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • – 1 clove of garlic
  • – 1/2 big bunch of fresh basil
  • – Handful of chives
  • – Handful of coriander
  • – 1 handful of pine nuts
  • – 1 good handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • – extra virgin olive oil
  • – 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Peel the garlic, then pound in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
  2.  
  3. Pick, roughly chop and add the basil, followed by coriander and chives, then blend in a food processor.
  4.  
  5. Add the pine nuts (very lightly toast first, if you like) to the mixture and blend again, same with the parmesan
  6.  
  7. Drizzle in some oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.
  8.  
  9. Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to perfection with salt and black pepper. Have a taste and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.
  10.  
  11. Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end

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