Italian Mushroom Risotto


Ingredients

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

Method

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.

Caprese and White Bean Salad


Ingredients

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

Method

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.

Tomato Arancini


Ingredients

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

Method

1. Combine 700g of passata and the vegetable stock into a small pan. Heat until boiling, then turn off heat.

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2. Heat olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to go translucent.

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3. Add in the garlic, stir and cook for a further minute.

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4. Add Val Verde risotto rice and stir until the oil has coated the rice.

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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.

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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.

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7. When the rice at desired consistency, add in the cream, parmesan, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Stir and then turn off the heat.

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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).

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9. To make the Arancini Balls, put the beaten eggs, breadcrumbs and flour on 3 different large plates.

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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.

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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.

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12. Dip each Arancini Ball in turn into the flour, egg and finally the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess as you go.

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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.

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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.

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15. Serve with some garden salad on the side and a touch of mayonnaise.

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Lentil and Vegetable Tomato Lasagne


Ingredients

Val Verde Passata 500g, 2 small or 1 large red capsicum, cut into thick strips, 1 large (350g) eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut into thick slices, 2 medium (400g) zucchini, cut into thick slices, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra, 1 celery stalk, finely chopped, 1 onion, finely chopped, 1 carrot, finely chopped, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 1 bay leaf, 1 cup vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 x 400g Val Verde Lentils, drained, 375g fresh lasagne sheets, 500g tub ricotta, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan, ½ cup milk, ½ cup mozzarella cheese

Method

1. Preheat oven to 230°C (210C fan-forced). Place the capsicum, eggplant and zucchini in a large bowl. Drizzle over the oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Arrange in a 3 litre-capacity ovenproof dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Transfer the vegetables to a plate. Reduce oven temperature to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

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2. Meanwhile, heat extra olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add celery, onion carrot, garlic and bay leaf and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Stir in Val Verde Tomato Passata , stock and tomato paste. Bring to the boil; reduce heat to simmer and stir in lentils; remove and discard bay leaf. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan and milk until smooth. Set aside.

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3. Layer pasta sheet and lentil tomato sauce into the baking dish., spreading the top layer with the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cooked through and cheese is golden brown on top. Allow to stand 5 minutes before cutting into pieces

Warm Tomato and Fetta Bruschetta


Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 red onion, sliced, 400g can Val Verde Diced Tomatoes, 350 - 400g loaf ciabatta or Turkish pide bread, sliced, olive oil spray or light olive oil, as needed, 1/3 cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves, 200g fetta cheese, sliced, 1/3 cup sliced black olives

Method

Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion over low heat for 5 minutes. Add Val Verde Diced Tomatoes and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. Spray or brush ciabatta slices with oil on both sides and chargrill or grill until golden to make bruschetta. Just before serving, stir basil into tomato mixture. Top each bruschetta with sliced fetta and a generous dollop of tomato mixture. Serve immediately garnished with olives.

Fish Parcels with Tomato, Zucchini and Walnuts


Ingredients

400g can Val Verde Peeled Tomatoes, 1/3 cup white wine, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, ¼ cup shredded basil leaves, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste, 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced, 4 (approx. 200g) firm white fleshed fish fillets eg. Ling, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, crusty bread, to serve

Method

Combine the tomatoes (broken slightly with a wooden spoon), white wine, oil, garlic, basil and season to taste.

Cut 4 x 40cm lengths of baking paper. Place a quarter of the zucchini slices in the centre of one sheet. Top with one piece of fish and season to taste. Spoon over a quarter of the tomato mixture. Bring the short sides of the paper up to meet in the middle, fold over several times to secure. Twist in both ends to secure and form a parcel. Repeat the process for the remaining 3 fillets. Place parcels on a baking tray.

Bake at 200°C (180°C fan forced) for 15-20 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Remove bag from oven and stand 2-3 minutes before carefully opening the bag. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve with bread.

Tomato, Mushroom and Prosciutto Pasta


Ingredients

500g penne or spiral pasta, 100g sliced prosciutto, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 large onion, sliced, 250g button mushrooms, sliced, 2 x 400g cans Val Verde Peeled Tomatoes, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, ½ cup parsley leaves, ½ cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese

Method

Boil pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until ‘al dente’ and drain. Meanwhile, cook prosciutto in an oiled frypan for 3-4 minutes until golden. Drain on absorbent paper and crumble. Add oil to pan and sauté onion until translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté until softened. Add Val Verde Peeled Tomatoes, simmer until thickened and season to taste. Just before serving, toss hot pasta with sauce, parsley and half the crumbled prosciutto. Portion into serving bowls and serve sprinkled with parmesan and remaining prosciutto.

Italian Tomato Sauce


Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 1 onion, chopped, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 x 400g cans Val Verde Peeled Tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped basil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook garlic and onion over medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened, but not browned. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the Val Verde Peeled Tomatoes and break up roughly with a wooden spoon. Cook, simmering, for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened; stirring occasionally. Stir in basil and season to taste; cook for a further 2 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti or for use in lasagne or cannelloni.

Tomato, Chilli and Pancetta Pizzettas


Ingredients

2 x 400g cans Val Verde Peeled Tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, extra virgin olive oil, as required, 8 small pizza bases or pita breads, 250g grated mozzarella cheese, 1-2 red chillies, sliced or chilli flakes, for sprinkling, 12 slices pancetta, 24 anchovies, 100g rocket

Method

Drain Val Verde Peeled Tomatoes, reserving juice, and cut each into four fillets. Combine juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons oil and spread over pizza bases. Top with mozzarella, pancetta, tomato fillets, anchovies and chilli. Bake at 220°C for 10-15 minutes until cooked and golden. Dress rocket with a little olive oil and serve on top of each hot pizzetta.