Autumn risotto with porcini mushrooms and pancetta

Autumn risotto with porcini mushrooms and pancetta

Autumn is slowly coming to Liguria, finally the time when you sit comfortably with friends in front of the fire and enjoy a glass of good Barolo. A hearty porcini mushroom risotto, suitable for the season with red wine, rosemary and pancetta, the mildly smoked Italian bacon, which crisps crispy here.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 400g of Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 50g dried mushrooms, minced, washed and preserved for 1-2 hours in 200ml cold water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • A small piece of celery, finely chopped
  • 200ml dry red wine
  • 1 L chicken stock of good quality
  • 100g Italian pancetta, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 30g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons of mascarpone
  • 20g butter
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground, black pepper



Bring the chicken stock to a boil and then simmer on a low heat.


Now sauté the onion with the celery in olive oil and simmer for about 4 minutes on a low heat. Add the garlic and let it slowly simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Increase the temperature and fry the rice vigorously for 2 minutes, then deglaze with the red wine. Reduce the liquid to half and then top up with the broth regularly so that the rice is always well covered. Stir regularly to prevent sticking or burning. Add the soaked mushrooms, the soaking water and the rosemary, and simmer on a medium flame until the rice is tender and tender. Remove the risotto from the fire and add the parmesan, mascarpone and butter. Stir and cover everything covered for at least 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper.


In the meantime, bake the pancetta crispy in a little oil and drain on kitchen paper.


Sprinkle the prepared risotto with the crispy bacon and garnish with sprigs of rosemary. This fits a fresh, colorful salad, crispy ciabatta bread and a full-bodied Barolo, but you know that already. Let's enjoy it, 'Buon Appetito', as they say here in Liguria.





Classic Eggplant Parmesan


  • 800 ml of classic Tomato sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoon of black or green olive paste
  • Three large eggplants, peeled and sliced into1 cm thick lengthwise slices
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 50g organic breadcrumbs 
  • 1 tablespoon of finely diced butter 
  • A dash of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper



Preheat the oven to 250°C.


Salt both sides of the eggplant slices on a large tray or plate, wait 15 minutes. Then, dry the slices with paper towels. Set the oven to the grill function and grill the eggplants for a few minutes being careful not to burn them


Butter or oil an oven pan (at least 2-3 cm deep) and add a layer of the grilled eggplant slices. Cover with tomato sauce, some grated cheese and a bit of black pepper. Repeat the layers and cover the top fully with tomato sauce, lots of cheese and the organic bread crumbs. Add a dash of black pepper and some finely diced butter.


Reduce the oven temperature to 220°C and place the eggplant parmesan on the middle rack for at least 10 min. Then reduce to 200°C for another 10-15 minutes. Ensure that the surface is nicely browned but not burned.


Some crispy baguette, a summer salad and a good glass of red wine will go well with it.


Torta di Noci - Guilietta’s Family Recipe

Traditional recipe from the lovely region 




Beat the ricotta with the eggs and the sugar until the mixture gets frothy. Then, add the ground nuts and the cocoa mixture. after that, add the olive oil drop by drop with constant stirring. Lastly, add the sifted flour to the baking powder. Put into an oiled

springform pan and bake at 180 degrees bottom and top heat for about 40 minutes.


This is best served with Giulietta's cake, warm with a little whipped cream and a delicious espresso.

Ingredients (4-6 pieces):


  • 1 cup (250g) ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup of ground nuts (according to taste)
  • 1 cup of cocoa mixture (1/2 cup of pure cocoa, 1/2 cup of raw cane sugar, a pinch of cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Gourmet Goody February 2018

Creamy Taleggio Risotto with Grapes in Marsala

Traditional recipe from the lovely region 



To begin, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and celery for approximately four minutes until they become translucent and fragrant. Add the minced garlic and let it cook for about a minute without browning. Now, increase the heat, incorporate the rice, and stir-fry it for approximately two minutes, ensuring you continuously stir it. Pour in the white wine and allow it to come to a near boil; this step prevents the ingredients from sticking to the pan.


Gradually introduce the broth while stirring regularly to maintain the desired creamy consistency of the risotto.


While the risotto cooks, remove seeds from half of the grapes and set them aside. When the risotto is nearly cooked but still slightly firm to the bite, add the taleggio cheese and butter, giving it a quick stir. The risotto should no longer be cooked, but rather left covered for about 3-4 minutes to rest. Taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary.


Meanwhile, heat the Marsala wine in a medium-sized pan, and then gently sauté the grapes in it for approximately 3 minutes over low heat. To serve, place a mound of the rested risotto in the center of a preheated plate and garnish it with the sautéed grapes and sprigs of fresh thyme.


And as they say in Liguria "Buon Appetito"

Ingredients (4-6 pieces):


  • 250g Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 1 finely diced small onion
  • 1 pressed garlic clove
  • 1 finely minced small celery stalk
  • 200ml of dry white wine
  • 1 liter of simmering chicken broth
  • 100g of Taleggio cheese (bark removed), cut into cubes
  • 50g of butter
  • 200g of red grapes, halved and seeded
  • 100ml of Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoons of high-quality olive oil

Gourmet Goody January

Tuna Ricotta Bruschetta

Traditional recipe from the lovely region 



Put the tuna, ricotta and cream cheese in a bowl and stir consistently with a fork to a creamy mixture. Then the olives

are cut into small pieces and added to the mass. Season

everything with salt and pepper.


If you like it spicy, you can add half a chili pod chopped into very

small pieces. The fresh farmhouse bread slices are roasted in a pan until golden brown and then coated with the garlic clove on

both sides. The warm bread absorbs the garlic taste immediately - you will love it.


Brush the warm slices generously with the tuna ricotta mixture.

The small delicacy is perfect for a typical Italian aperitivo with a

glass of white wine from the region.



Let's enjoy it, 'Buon Appetito', as they say here in Liguria.

Ingredients (4-6 pieces):


  • 220 g tuna fillets in olive oil
  • 200 g ricotta
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of black olives
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4-6 slices of farmhouse bread
  • Salt and pepper