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Chef Giorgio Locatelli and his Christmas recipes

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Nov 272020Chef Giorgio Locatelli and his Christmas recipes Giorgio Locatelli is one of the finest Italian chefs in the UK and the world. He founded and directs the Locanda Locatelli restaurant, one of the finest Michelin-starred restaurants in London, noted as much for its conviviality as the quality of its food.
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Giorgio Locatelli is one of the finest Italian chefs in the UK and the world. He founded and directs the Locanda Locatelli restaurant, one of the finest Michelin-starred restaurants in London, noted as much for its conviviality as the quality of its food.
At Locanda Locatelli, Giorgio serves traditional Italian dishes, emphasizing the quality and freshness of the products as well as adding his own creative touch. Giorgio is steeped in the history and traditions of Italian cooking, having helped out (and later worked) in the kitchens of La Cinzianella, his uncle Alfio’s Michelin-starred restaurant, from the age of five. His cousins, the Gnocchis, gave him his first experience of industrial kitchens, making fine amaretto cookies for their pastry shop near Milan. Giorgio’s grandmother Vincenzina inspired his love of cooking, keeping his feet on the ground while at the same time giving him the confidence to grow.

Let's discover two of his Italian recipes, perfect for the Christmas holidays. We are sure that with these dishes you will make a great impression with your guests!

Gnocchi with taleggio, radicchio and walnuts
When it is cold outside, there is nothing more comforting than a plate of gnocchi with melted cheese. The combination of the radicchio and the cloud-like gnocchi with the crunchy walnuts creates a wonderful sensation in the mouth. If you can’t find radicchio, try another bitter leaf.


Gnocchi with taleggio, radicchio and walnuts


Ingredients (this recipe serves 6):

For the gnocchi
500g medium floury potatoes (such as Désirée)
1 egg, lightly beaten
110g plain flour
3-4tbsp walnuts
1 head radicchio

For the sauce
100g butter
125ml white wine
250ml double cream
250g Taleggio cheese, cut into pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

Method
Heat the oven to 110°C/fan oven 90°C/mark 1/4. Boil the potatoes whole in salted water for 40 minutes, until just tender. Allow to cool, then peel and cut into quarters. Place on a baking tray, cover with foil and prick the foil with a fork. Put them in the oven for 30 minutes to dry. Remove the potatoes from the oven and push them through a fine sieve into a bowl. Quickly work in the egg, a pinch of fine salt and three-quarters of the flour to make a soft dough. Turn up the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/mark 4.
Lightly dust your work surface and a tray with the rest of the flour. To make the gnocchi, roll pieces of dough into long sausages about 1cm in diameter, then cut each one into 1cm lengths. Run the tines of a fork over each piece. Lay the gnocchi on the floured tray. Set aside.
Lay the walnuts on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 7 minutes, moving the tray around occasionally. Allow to cool slightly, then rub off the skins and roughly chop the nuts.
Slice off the top 2cm of the radicchio and set aside for the garnish. Cut the rest of the leaves into 1cm pieces for the sauce. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the butter in a second saucepan, add the chopped leaves and sauté for a couple of minutes, then season. Add the white wine, bubble up to evaporate the alcohol, then add the cream. Bring to the boil, add the cheese and take off the heat as it melts.
Add the gnocchi to the boiling water. When they rise to the surface (after 2 minutes), use a slotted spoon to lift them out and into the sauce.
Spoon the gnocchi and sauce into a serving dish and garnish with the walnuts.
Season the radicchio tips and toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil, then scatter over the top.

Chocolate, amaretti and fig roll with hazelnuts
This is a perfect centerpiece for a Christmas feast, as it can be prepared in advance and looks great on a table. The nuts and figs complement the chocolate and it looks wonderful as you slice through.


Chocolate, amaretti and fig roll with hazelnuts


Ingredients (this recipe serves 6):

For the roll
250g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
50g dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa)
100g cocoa powder
300g amaretti biscuits, crushed
75g dried figs, chopped

To serve
50g hazelnuts
175g whipping cream

Method
In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar with a pinch of flaked salt until creamy. Then add the eggs gradually and beat the mixture again.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, then add it to the mixture all at once. Continue to whisk until everything is fully incorporated.
Fold in the cocoa powder, the crushed amaretti biscuits and the chopped figs. Mix together until all of the dry ingredients are well coated in the chocolate butter.
Spread the mixture across a sheet of baking parchment, then roll it into a sausage and chill in the fridge for 4 hours.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 175°C/fan oven 155°C/mark 4. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast for 8 minutes while you whip the cream.
To serve, slice the roll and add a dollop of whipped cream with toasted hazelnuts scattered over the top.

Wine pairing
Corte Sant’Alda’s Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2016 is a luscious sweet red, with dried fruit, raisin and spicy notes that marry beautifully with the chocolate, dried figs and nuts for a truly festive ending.

Book one of our luxury villas for rent in Italy and try to replicate these recipes during your vacation!


Locanda Locatelli restaurant

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  • Locanda Locatelli restaurant




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