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Italian Easter tart

"This is a traditional tart eaten in Naples at Easter," says Ingram. "The legend goes that a mermaid called Parthenope in the Gulf of Napoli would sing to celebrate the arrival of spring each year. One year, to say thank you, the Neapolitans offered her gifts of ricotta, flour, eggs, wheat, perfumed orange flowers and spices. She took them to her kingdom under the sea, where the gods made them into a cake. I love to add nibs of chocolate to Parthenope cake because I think it marries nicely with the candied orange and sultanas, but, really, do you need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?" Start this recipe a day ahead to prepare the pastry and soak the sultanas.

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Arancini with braised silverbeet and spinach


You'll need

50 gm butter, coarsely chopped 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 500 gm (2½ cups) arborio rice 200 ml dry white wine 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock 100 gm Pecorino Romano, finely grated 100 gm Grana Padano, finely grated 100 gm Asiago Pressato, coarsely grated (see note) 50 gm Gorgonzola piccante, finely chopped For frying: vegetable oil 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour, seasoned 1 egg, lightly whisked 100 gm (1 cup) fine dried breadcrumbs To serve: lemon wedges   Braised silverbeet and spinach 500 gm silverbeet, leaves coarsely chopped, stems finely sliced, washed 1 bunch English spinach, stalks trimmed, coarsely chopped, washed 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced

Method

  • 01
  • For braised silverbeet and spinach, blanch leaves and stems in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, refresh in iced water and drain well. Heat butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add shallot and cook for 10 minutes or until softened and transparent, add silverbeet and spinach and cook for 5 minutes or until wilted. Process in a food processor until smooth. Cool.
  • 02
  • Heat butter and olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft, then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until rice is transparent. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes or until reduced to two-thirds. Gradually add stock, half a cup at a time, adding more as liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, until rice is al dente. Add cheeses and puréed silverbeet and spinach and stir to combine. Season to taste. Spread onto trays and refrigerate for 6 hours or until cold.
  • 03
  • To make arancini, form 2 tbsp of rice mixture into balls and place on a tray. Repeat with remaining mixture. Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Dip rice balls into flour, egg and then breadcrumbs. Deep-fry for 3-5 minutes or until crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste and serve with lemon wedges.
Note Asiago Pressato is a semi-soft cow's milk cheese produced in the provinces of Trento, Padua, Vicenza and Treviso in north-east Italy. You could substitute with fontina.

"One cold, wet, blustery day in December my colleagues and I shared a fine lunch at North Bondi Italian Food. We particularly enjoyed Robert Marchetti's arancini. Could you ask him for the recipe so that I can make them for my parents?"
Thomas Fletcher, Rozelle, NSW

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To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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