Risotto Cacio e Pepe


Hey Guys and Gals. I know its been a while, life has been very busy for me and keeps getting in the way of a good post. I have finally been able to get back on the board and do some cooking worthy of posting. I was very excited to make this as those who know this recipe know it originated from the great Massimo Bottura who wanted to utilise the near 1000 wheels of cheese damaged in the disaster after an earth quake devastated the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in 2012. The great man is coming to Perth in August and I managed to get tickets to his show. So I decided to try his nice simple recipe from the three Michelin Star and elBulli Chef, Massimo Bottura.



For the Parmesan broth:

–  907g Parmesan

For the risotto

–  6 cups parmesan broth

– 13 cup parmesan cream

–  2 tbsp unsalted butter

–  3 medium shallots, minced

–  2 cloves garlic, minced

–  2 cups Arborio rice

–  Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

–  Parsley leaves, for garnish


1. To make the parmesan broth: Combine the parmesan with 8 12 cups of water in a large stockpot over a medium-low heat. When the cheese becomes stringy, remove it from the heat. Let it cool down to room temperature and repeat the heating once more. Refrigerate the broth for at least 8 hours or overnight. The next day, the broth should have separated into 3 distinct layers: a cream layer, on top; a broth layer, in the middle; and a solid layer, on the bottom. Carefully remove the top cream layer and reserve. Strain the broth, discarding remaining solids.

2. To make the risotto: Heat the broth in a large saucepan over medium heat, set aside and keep warm. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add shallots and garlic, then cook, stirring, until soft. Add the rice, cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved stock one ladle at a time. Cook until each addition of stock is absorbed before adding another. Stirring often, cook until the rice is tender and creamy, about 20-22 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cream and cracked pepper then garnish with parsley leaves if you really want – I also grated some extra parmesan as it is one of my favourites. Enjoy!

Full credit to Massimo Bottura

Potato, Leek & Nettle Soup


This winter has been very very wet. My wife and I have a big announcement that we are having a baby boy in December! She has had a big craving of potato and leek soup thanks to having it at one of our favorite restaurants in Perth Bistro des Artistes. This blog post will have two recipes, one for the potato and leek which was for my pregnant wife and the other with the stinging nettles which was for me. I have always wanted to cook with nettles and I managed to come across a post by Macabee Dorper Lamb offering to sell their unique ingredient. There is only one disclaimer, make sure you use gloves to handle the nettles and you can steam or blanch (which is what I did) to take the sting away.

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  • 50g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1kg Potatoes, Peeled, Cut into 1cm Cubes
  • 1 leek, Cut in Half, Washed Well, Finely Sliced
  • 1 Brown Onion, Peeled, Finely Chopped
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1L Chicken Stock
  • Sea Salt and Ground White Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Flat-Leaf Parsley, Finely Shredded, For Garnish


  • Large Bunch of Stinging Nettles



1. To remove the sting from the nettles, blanch them in boiling water with a little bit of salt for about 5 minutes. You will need to wear gloves when harvesting and handling them before putting into the boiling water. Strain, leave to cool and squeeze as much water as you can out of them.

2. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the potatoes, leek, onion and garlic and cook on a low heat, stirring frequently until the leeks have softened.

3. Pour in the stock and simmer covered, for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. At this point if you have nettles tip them into the soup. Purée the soup with a hand blender until smooth. Season to taste. You can add more chicken stock at this point  to get the right consistency of soup you desire.

4. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with parsley and, if desired and being truffle season when I made this grated truffle. Serve with a slice of toasted crusty bread.

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You can contact the lovely people down at Macabee through their Facebook and arrange for pickup at the Subiaco Farmers Market.