- 12 verde gigante olives (see note)
- 150 gm Taleggio, rind trimmed
- 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 140 gm (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
- For deep frying: vegetable oil
- 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock
- 2½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 50 gm flat pancetta, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 200 gm (1 cup) carnaroli rice
- 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
- 50 gm finely grated parmesan
Fresh tomato sauce
- 3 (about 400gm) very ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, blanched, peeled and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 sprigs each of thyme, basil and oregano
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp aged red wine vinegar
- 1For risotto, bring stock to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add pancetta, onion and garlic, cook until onions are translucent (8-10 minutes). Add rice and stir for 1 minute to coat the grains. Deglaze pan with wine, then add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring occasionally and ensuring stock is absorbed before adding more, until stock is completely absorbed and rice is creamy and cooked al dente (35-40 minutes). Stir through parmesan and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread risotto on a tray to cool, then refrigerate for 2 hours.
- 2For tomato sauce, combine ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until tomato breaks down (15-20 minutes). Season to taste and set aside.
- 3Using a sharp paring knife, remove olive flesh from pits in a single piece. Place a thumbnail-sized piece of Taleggio in the centre of each olive and remould olive around cheese. (The olive won’t wrap all the way around.)
- 4Divide risotto into 12 balls, flatten, and place a Taleggio-stuffed olive in the centre of each. Mould risotto around each olive until completely enclosed.
- 5Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a large, deep saucepan to 170C. Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Roll balls in flour, dip in egg, coat in breadcrumbs and deep-fry in batches until golden (4-5 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, and serve with tomato sauce to the side.
Verde gigante olives are sold in jars at Italian delicatessens. You can substitute with other large green olives.