300g mussels, scrubbed and bearded, 300g clams (vongole), 12 large prawns, heads trimmed, shell removed and deveined, 200g salmon fillets, cut into large pieces, 200g mini octopus or squid tentacles, 750ml Vegetable or Fish stock , 3 tablespoons olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, minced, 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes, 2 brown onion, finely chopped, Pinch of saffron strands, 1 small fennel, thinly sliced1 cup (250ml) white wine, 500g Val Verde Passata, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, Juice of ½ lemon, Handful of fresh parsley leaves and fennel fronds, chopped, Freshly cracked black pepper
To Prepare The Seafood
Add mussels and clams to a large heavy bottomed pot along with 750ml vegetable/fish stock. Cover and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, shaking pan occasionally until mussels and clams have opened up. Remove from heat. Strain and reserve the stock for the soup. Discard any unopened mussels and clams.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large cast-iron frying pan on medium-high heat. Cook fish and prawns for 1-2 minute until seared and starting to char. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same pan, cook tentacles for 30 seconds on high heat until just cooked. Remove and set aside.
To Make The Soup
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high heat in a large wide pan. Add garlic and chilli. Sauté for a few seconds. Add onion and fennel. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until onion is caramelized. Add the pinch of saffron. Mix well. Add wine to deglaze the pan and mix all the brown, sticky bits.
Add Val Verde Passata, the reserved stock, oregano and lemon juice. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes to develop flavours.
Add the mussels, clams, fish, prawns, octopus/squid and mix well. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until heated through.
Remove from heat. Sprinkle with black pepper, garnish with parsley and fennel. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Serve with crusty bread.
Val Verde Passata or Val Verde Rustica Passata , 1 Packet of dry pasta , 1 Tin Val Verde Cherry Tomatoes , 400g Mozzarella Cheese , 100g Parmigiano Cheese, 4 Garlic cloves , 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil , Fresh Basil , Salt & Pepper
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once the water has started to boil.
For the tomato sauce:
Roast the cherry tomatoes and peeled garlic cloves sprinkled with half the olive oil and some salt in a preheated oven at 180°c until the tomatoes start to lose their skin.
Put the garlic cloves and roasted tomatoes with the oven juices and a few chopped basil leaves in a little olive oil in a frying pan or iron skillet. Cook for a few minutes. Then remove the garlic and add the tomato passata.
Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 15 minutes.
Complete the dish:
Cut the mozzarella into thin slices.
Put the pasta into the boiling salted water and when they start to rise to the surface remove with a slotted spoon and add them to the tomato sauce.
Mix the pasta and tomato sauce together and transfer to an oven safe dish.
Cover the top with a layer of mozzarella slices and then cover the mozzarella with grated Parmigiano cheese.
Bake in preheated oven at 180°c until the top starts to brown. About 15-20 minutes.
Serve immediately decorated with some chopped or whole basil leaves.
1 litre of water , 2 Val Verde Mushroom Stock Cubes, 1 brown onion, diced, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cups Val Verde Risotto Rice, 500g mushrooms, chopped, 1 glass of white wine, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, 25g butter , 1 cup grated Parmesan, Salt and pepper, to taste , Thyme, to garnish
1. Prepare the mushroom stock by boiling the water and add Val Verde Mushrooms stock cubes. Keep the stock on low heat.
2. In a medium size fry-pan heat the olive oil, add onion and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until mushrooms are brown then set aside.
3. Add Risotto Rice and stir in the wine until evaporated.
4. Add in ½ cup of mushroom stock at the time and let the rice absorb the stock. Repeat until all stock is used.
5. Serve topped with parmesan and small amount of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2/3 cup basil leaves, 1 small garlic clove, finely crushed, 15 cherry tomatoes, halved, 220g buffalo mozzarella, sliced, 400g can Val Verde Cannellini (white) Beans, rinsed and drained, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1. In a frying pan, combine half the extra virgin olive oil and basil. Cook gently on low heat for 3-4 minutes or until basil slightly wilts.
2. Pour into a bowl and add the garlic. Leave aside to cool. Once cooled, remove basil and garlic.
3. Pour the beans on the plate spreading them to create an even surface. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange them on top of the white beans. Add vinegar to the oil mixture and whisk until combined. Drizzle over salad. Garnish salad with remaining basil leaves.
150g stale bread, diced, 225ml milk, 1 egg, 1 bunch fresh chives, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp nutmeg , Breadcrumbs, as required, 250g Val Verde Passata, Olive oil, Garlic clove, crushed, Salt
1. Soak the bread in milk and work it with your hands until all the hard parts are gone.
2. Finely chop the chives (as desired) and add them to the bread mixture. Add the egg, parmesan and nutmeg into the mixture and combine.
3. Make small balls (canederli) out of the mixture and coat with breadcrumbs.
4. Add a drizzle of oil to a hot pan, cook the balls on the pan until golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil and crushed garlic on a pan. Add the passata and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Add the canederli and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
7. Serve in bowls, topping with freshly grated parmesan.
Rissoto:, 700g Val Verde Passata, 400ml vegetable stock, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 large brown onion, peeled and chopped finely, 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, 300g Val Verde Risotto Rice , 150ml white wine, 3 tbsp double cream, 50g parmesan cheese, grated, Juice of ½ a lemon, Generous pinch of salt and black pepper, Remaining Arancini ingredients:, 100g mozzarella cheese, cut in small cubes, 2 eggs, beaten, 100g panko breadcrumbs, 120g plain flour, mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper, Vegetable oil, for deep frying
1. Combine 700g of passata and the vegetable stock into a small pan. Heat until boiling, then turn off heat.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to go translucent.
3. Add in the garlic, stir and cook for a further minute.
4. Add Val Verde risotto rice and stir until the oil has coated the rice.
5. Add in the wine and stir. Wait for the wine to almost fully absorb (stirring regularly) and then add the passata sauce a cup at a time. Ensuring each cup has almost fully absorbed before adding the next. Ensure you stir regularly. This should take 15-20 mins.
6. Once you've used up all the stock, the rice should be soft but still have a bit of a bite to it (it will soften up a little further when you add the cream). If the rice is still hard, add in a ladle of hot water and keep stirring until absorbed. This may take further 5 minutes.
7. When the rice at desired consistency, add in the cream, parmesan, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Stir and then turn off the heat.
8. Leave to cool in the pan, then cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes (or up to 2-3 days).
9. To make the Arancini Balls, put the beaten eggs, breadcrumbs and flour on 3 different large plates.
10. Take the cold risotto out of the fridge. Put a heaped tbsp. of the rice into your hand. Flatten it out and then place mozzarella in the centre. Wrap the risotto around the cheese and roll into a ball. Repeat until you've used all the mixture.
11. Fill a large and deep saucepan with the vegetable oil until it's about 1/3 full. There needs to be enough oil to completely cover the Arancini Ball. Heat the oil on high.
12. Dip each Arancini Ball in turn into the flour, egg and finally the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess as you go.
13. Check the heat of the oil by dropping in a few of the panko breadcrumbs. If they immediately rise to the top and bubble vigorously, then the oil is ready. Turn it down to medium-high and carefully place in a maximum of 3 Arancini Balls in the oil.
14. Cook for 2 minutes until the Arancini is golden brown, then remove from the oil with a spoon and place on a wire rack with kitchen paper underneath to drain. Repeat until all the Arancini Balls are cooked.
15. Serve with some garden salad on the side and a touch of mayonnaise.
250g Val Verde Fettuccine, 125g unsalted butter, 500g thick cream, 1/2 tsp white pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 375g parmesan cheese, grated, Salt, to taste, Fresh basil, to garnish
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted add garlic, cream, white pepper, and salt.
2. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to medium, simmer for 8 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and slowly add cheese.
4. Return to stove on low heat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Cook the fettuccine in salted boiling water for 5 minutes.
6. When cooked, drain Val Verde Fettuccine and add to the saucepan for a minute or until the sauce is well combined with pasta.
7. Serve with fresh chopped basil.
500g Casarecce pasta, 500g Italian-style pork sausages, ½ cup olive oil, 1 cup red wine, 690g Val Verde Traditional Pasta Sauce, ½ bunch basil leaves, freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish, Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling.
1. Slice or chop pork sausages. Heat olive oil in a large heavy based pot and sauté sausages until well browned.
2. Deglaze pan with wine, add Val Verde Traditional Pasta Sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes until thickened.
3. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente, drain and toss hot pasta into ragu together with basil leaves. Serve with tagliatelle, farfalle or spaghetti. Finish with a sprinkle of parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.