Risotto Milanese

serves 2-4 with leftovers for arancini, arancini recipe coming soon…

3 T extra virgin olive oil

½ a Spanish onion, diced

1 t + 1 pinch salt

2 ½ c carnaroli rice

1 c dry white wine

8 c homemade chicken broth

1 t saffron

2 T unsalted butter

1 c grated parmigiano reggiano + more for serving

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Set broth to simmer on another burner.

2. Add rice to the pot with oil and onion, then toast for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Turn heat to medium high, and add the wine. Keep stirring. Cook until alcohol has evaporated, a minute or two, then begin to ladle in the hot broth.

3. In a small mug place the saffron and one ladle of hot broth. Cover and set aside to steep.

4. Continue stirring and adding broth as necessary. Do not bathe the rice.  You must wait for it to ask you for more liquid; when you hear the rice slurping off the bottom of the pot as your stir, this is when you add more broth. Total cooking time once you begin adding broth should be approximately 20 minutes. When the broth is finished, add the broth you have aside steeped with saffron and 1 t salt (if you are using a well salted broth, you may consider using less salt here). Stir to incorporate thoroughly, then turn off the flame, cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

5. Add butter and grated parmigiano reggiano, stir to incorporate thoroughly and until the butter has melted, taste for salt, and adjust as necessary.

6. Serve topped with more grated parmigiano reggiano.

Make arancini with your leftovers!



(makes 10-12)

leftover Risotto Milanese (up to 3 days old)

1 block of Melville

zest of one lemon

3 cups of breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

canola oil for frying

1. Prepare your ingredients: one egg beaten in a small plate or bowl, 1 c breadcrumbs on a plate with the rest nearby to replenish, one block of Melville cheese covered in lemon zest, cut into 1 inch cubes and your leftover risotto with a large spoon.

2. Scoop out one large spoon of risotto, using your hands shape it into a ball. With two fingers burrow out a hole in the middle, place a cube of Melville covered in lemon zest inside, and close the hole with risotto, adding a little more if necessary to ensure the cheese is secured inside. Roll the ball in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs. Be sure it is covered completely with breadcrumbs. Repeat until you’ve used all the risotto.

3. Fill a large pot with canola oil, just deep enough to cover the arancini, approximately 4 inches. Heat on high until you reach 350 degrees F, then lower the flame to medium/medium-high to keep the temperature stable.

4. In pairs, fry the arancini, turning regularly while in the oil so they cook evenly. Fry until crispy and browned, 1-2 minutes. Using a spider, drain and place onto a plate lined with paper towels. Check the temperature of the oil to ensure it’s still at 350 to 400 degrees F, then fry the next two.  Repeat until all the arancini are fried.

Serve warm or at room temperature for aperitivo along side some extra squares of Melville covered in lemon zest with a crisp white wine.


Cavatelli lunghi with roasted tomatoes + Melville

Serves 2 as a main course

1 carton of heirloom cherry tomatoes, large ones cut in half, small left whole

at least one small head of garlic, roasted whole, or smashed, left in the skin

2 T olive oil + more for drizzling

a handful of basil leaves

220 g cavatelli lunghi, garganelli, or penne

at least ½ a block of Melville, cut into cubes

salt and pepper

1. Wash tomatoes and pour out onto a large rimmed sheet pan. Add garlic. Pour over 2 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Mix to coat. Top with a few basil leaves. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, checking at least once, halfway through, to stir.

2. Boil a large pot of water and salt to taste like the sea. Taste the water to be sure.  When the water reaches a rolling boil, add your pasta and cook until al dente. I recommend cooking two minutes less than the package instructions if you are using dried.

3. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl with the roasted tomatoes; squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin and add to the bowl as well.  Keep your cubes of Melville, basil, salt and pepper nearby.

4. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water just in case the sauce is dry.

5. Add pasta to the bowl with your roasted tomatoes + garlic, add pasta water if necessary, and mix. Sprinkle in your cubes of Melville and mix. The Melville should melt just enough. Drizzle with more olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Plate and top with fresh basil leaves. 

This is delicious, warm, cold or at room temperature.

Tortellone di Zucca

serves 4


1 kabocha squash, quartered, seeds cleaned out, roasted dry at 350 F for one hour (sub butternut squash/acorn squash/pumpkin/sweet potato)

1/3 of a nutmeg, 1 all spice berry, ¼ of a star anise, 1 inch of a cinnamon stick; all ground together in a spice grinder

½ c honey

½ c grated parmigiano reggiano

salt to taste


400g tipo 00 flour

240g liquid (4 eggs + water to reach 240g)


20 sage leaves

6 T butter

grated parmigiano reggiano for topping

1. Make the pasta dough by hand or if you must, use a food processor until it comes together. Bring onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead until there are no air bubbles when cut down the center (you want a smooth dough, inside and out). Keep a finger bowl of water + a little extra flour nearby if you need to adjust, but this recipe is usually the perfect amount from the start (weather permitting; i.e. as long as it’s not very hot + humid).  Cover the dough and allow to rest for 30 minutes. 2. Spoon out squash filling + discard the skin, and pulse all filling ingredients in a food processor until combined. Taste and adjust as necessary to your liking. 3. If using a pasta machine, roll out dough to the thinnest setting, cut 3"x 3" squares. Place a large spoon of filling at the center of each square, fold in half to make a triangle, pressing all around to secure the filling. Then bring the two bottom points together, pressing until there is no seam left. Place on a sheet pan covered in a kitchen cloth, dusted with flour and continue until all the dough is finished. While forming the tortellone, get a large pot of salted water boiling. (You will only use ½ the filling. Freeze the remainder for your next batch, add chicken stock to it to make a soup, or double the pasta dough, use it all. I like to freeze half the tortellone for a lazy day) 4. When ready to eat, boil tortellone for 4-6 minutes (once they start floating, they still need another 2-3 minutes, i suggest tasting one before bringing them all out to be sure). Reserve at least one mug of pasta water and drain the pasta. 5. Add butter and sage to the same pot, throw in a large splash of pasta water, then the tortellone. Stir on high heat with a wooden spoon until the butter and pasta water have reduced to a glaze and all the pasta is glistening with it. Add more pasta water if necessary. 6. Serve on warm plates, covered in grated parmigiano reggiano.

PASTA TIP: Normally its best to do this with friends and family, the more hands the merrier. If you are few or doing this alone, have a water spray bottle nearby to mist the already-flattened dough occasionally while forming the tortellone, this way you’re sure the dough will not dry out!