Culinary Hotline - 2 November 2022

Take your tastebuds on a trip to Italy with these recipes by Clement Pedro and Gabriella Sangiorgio!

Homemade Ricotta
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 Cups
Recipe by:
Clem Pedro


For the homemade ricotta:
4 litres of Woolies Fresh Jersey High Fat Milk
1 Tbsp salt
½ Cup white vinegar


Heat the milk in a large pot over a medium heat. Bring the milk to just bubbling and steaming without the milk simmering.
Add the salt and stir through, then add the vinegar, stirring through again. Reduce the heat slightly and leave for 1 minute as the curds begin to separate from the whey. Stir the mixture and give a final minute of cooking before straining off the whey, keeping the curds aside.
Line a sieve with a piece of muslin cloth, or a clean piece of linen that will now become your cheese cloth.
Add the curds to the cloth-lined sieve and gently fold up the sides. Twist the ends of the cloth together, pressing down gently on the curds to remove any excess moisture. You can place the cheese in the fridge overnight with the sieve placed over a bowl to catch any whey that will drip off the cheese. Once the cheese has cooled, it will be ready to serve.

Fennel & Ricotta Risotto

Serves: 6
Recipe by: Gabriella Sangiorgio


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 bulbs fennel, finely sliced + keep the herby tops aside
2 cloves garlic
Seal salt & ground black pepper, to taste

1L hot vegetable stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 shallots, peeled & finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
1/2 head of celery, finely chopped
400g risotto rice (arborio or canarolli)
250ml dry white wine
Sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
60g butter
120g grated parmesan cheese
60g ricotta cheese
Zest & juice of one lemon
1 tsp dried chilli

Parmesan cheese, for serving


Place the olive oil and fennel in a saucepan on a high heat. Once the fennel is slightly charred, add garlic and stir. Cook for a further minute then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 mins or until fennel is soft and sweet.
In a separate pot, begin your risotto: add the olive oil, butter, shallot, garlic and celery. Cook slowly for 15 minutes or until everything is soft yet still retaining its colour. Then, add the rice and turn up the heat.
Keep on stirring the rice as it will start to gently fry. After a minute, add wine and continue to stir.
Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add a ladle of your hot stock and some salt + pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer so that the rice doesn’t cook too quickly. Continue to add ladles of stock + continue stirring. Once you are halfway through the stock, add your cooked fennel.
Once your stock is finished and your rice is perfectly al dente, remove from the heat. Add butter, parmesan, ricotta, lemon and chili, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pot. Allow it to sit for 2 mins.
Serve immediately with extra parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil & some of the fresh herby strands of fennel.

Gnudi in lemon butter sauce

Prep: 25 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Recipe by: Clem Pedro 


500g ricotta cheese
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated, extra for garnishing
2 free rage eggs
1 Cup flour
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the lemon butter sauce:
150g butter
The juice of 1 lemon (reserved from the zested lemon)


In a large mixing bowl combine your ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, flour and lemon zest. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then mix to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes giving the flour time hydrate.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Using 2 spoons, shape the mixture into a dumpling before dropping into the water and poaching until they begin floating, remove them from the water and place on a dish lightly coated with olive oil to stop them sticking.
Continue cooking the rest of the mixture in the same way.

For the lemon butter sauce heat your butter over a medium-low heat slowly cooking the butter while skimming any foam that comes to the surface. Once the butter begins to brown keep an eye on it as it turns a darker, golden colour. Remove from the heat and add your lemon juice stirring through before spooning over your plated gnudi. Finish with a garnishing of parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

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