Chef Marta Grassi needs no introduction in Italy. The pint-sized chef has a lot of power when it comes to commanding her 1-Michelin-star restaurant, Tantris.
Opening her kitchen to foodies, gourmets and interested cooks, Marta is lovable and competently moves around the kitchen like she owns it – why not… with many awards to her name and catching the attention of Michelin inspectors ( love them or hate them, they got it right this time), this tiny restaurant located in the countryside known as Novara – a hop, skip and a jump away from the famous Lake District (Maggiore, Orta).
Even though Novara is not a big city like Turin or Milan, it definitely has some star chefs worth visiting. Chef Marta Grassi is the first I will introduce in my Italian series this month – a big welcome to Marta Grassi to the Chefs Collective
For more information Novara, the tourism board is a wealth of knowledge – don’t trust the guidebooks out there!
Here is Chef Marta Grassi’s fail-proof recipe for delicious Risotto made with a two local producers unique to the Novara region: Gorgonzola and A-grade Carnaroli rice
Don’t be put off by the ingredient ‘dry mould’ .. it is the ‘good bacteria’ found in Gorgonzola!
Top tip: For the best Gorgonzola – visit Palzola – a MUST!
RISOTTO, DRIED MOULD, MASCARPONE, GORGONZOLA AND WALNUTSChef Marta Grassi
- 2 lt vegetable broth
- 420 gr rice Carnaroli
- 150 ml white wine
- 1 onion
- 60 gr butter to toast the rice
- 100 gr butter to cream the rice
- 180 gr mascarpone
- 70 gr walnuts
- 200 gr spicy gorgonzola + 80 gr milk
- 250 gr sweet gorgonzola + 80 gr millk
- Seeds oil
For the walnuts:
- pan fry the walnuts for a few minutes until they browned and chop roughly
For the sauce:
- melt the sweet gorgonzola with the hot milk, filter and keep warm. Rinse the
- moulds left, dehydrate and dry them. Melt the spicy gorgonzola with the hot milk, whisk to obtain
- a cream and keep warm.
For the risotto:
- heat the 60 gr of butter, add the chopped onion and bring to cooking for a few
- minutes, at that point add the rice. Toast it, douse with the wine, remove the onion and continue
- to cook with the broth, adjusting with the salt.
- When the rice is almost ready, cream it with the mascarpone and the 100 gr of butter left.
- Prepare the dish of risotto, adding the two gorgonzola sauces, the walnuts and the dried moulds.
Michelle Tchea is a 4-time bestselling author. Her books include, Building a Perfect Meal, My Little SoHo Kitchen, Signature Dishes (Australia's Best) and Chefs Collective. Her work can be found in other leading luxury travel and food magazines including Travel+Leisure Asia, SMILE, NUVO Magazine and The Telegraph