Risotto with Caciocavallo cheese, apricots, coffee and celery powder

Angelo Sabatelli's cheese risotto recipe features an unusual combination of ingredients, including dried apricots, bitter coffee and celery powder. Caciocavallo, a majestic southern Italian cheese which is hung from a rope to drain as it ages, adds a unique salty flavour to the finished dish – the old the cheese, the stronger the flavour so choose according to your own personal tastes when sourcing the cheese. Using water to make risottos is common practice in Italy, although you could use vegetable or chicken stock for a richer flavour if you wish.

First published in 2016
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Place a wide-bottomed pan over a medium heat and add the rice, allowing the grains to toast lightly in the heat
  • 160g of carnaroli risotto rice
Using a ladle, add hot water to the pan a little at a time, allowing any liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Cook the rice for 10–12 minutes, adding just enough water to create a creamy consistency with al dente rice grains
  • hot water
Add the diced apricots to the pan, mix well and remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter and the Caciocavallo, allowing to melt in the residual heat until creamy and smooth, then add a little lemon juice to taste
To serve, sprinkle a light layer of coffee powder across the base of 4 bowls. Divide the risotto between the bowls, sprinkling over a line of celery powder to serve
First published in 2016

It took Angelo Sabatelli a good few years working around the world to realise his true calling was to cook the traditional cuisine of Puglia, but when he returned home to open his first restaurant, the wait was worth it. His technical excellence and expertise transforms the region’s dishes into Michelin-starred masterpieces.

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