Food

Stunning La Tavola Della Famiglia Cookbook Launch

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The World Loves Melbourne is grateful to receive this epic Italian cookbook La Tavola Della Famiglia by a Melbourne icon and was excited to attend the book launch.
Sitting in the salubrious surrounds of Cecconi’s Flinders Lane listening to the memories of one of Melbourne’s matriarchs of food is like flicking through the pages of Melbourne’s culinary history.
 
cecconi 
70 something year old Olimpia Bortolotto can take you back to the 50s when she first started cooking. But she can also go back a lot further to the late 30s when she arrived as a two year old with her parents, lucky enough to be on one of the last boats to leave Italy before War broke out.  
Olimpia’s dad had already come out in the 20s to work on the railway from Alice Springs to Darwin and was inspired by the opportunities he saw for his young family in Australia.
The launch was celebratory and the crowd adoring, with Olimpia Bortolotto a Melbourne icon. As the charming Maria Bortolotto pointed out, these recipes have been tried and tested over 30 years.
Check out these highlights from the great event - 
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Check this recipe from the book (photos by Sharyn Cairns)...
photos by sharyn cairns -duck ragu gnocchi
 
Gnocchi duck ragu
 
Duck ragu
1 kg duck legs*
250 grams Spanish onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
100 ml red wine
30 grams tomato paste
500 ml duck stock
¼ bunch sage, chopped
250 grams Roma tomatoes, diced
¼ bunch parsley, chopped
butter
gnocchi*
 
METHOD
Debone the duck legs and dice into bite-sized pieces. In a large pot, fry off all the duck pieces until golden brown and set aside.
 
In the same pot, sweat off the onion, add the bay leaf, then sauté for 2 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce the liquid by half. 
 
Add the tomato paste, duck stock and sage and bring to the boil. Add the fried duck pieces. Add the tomato, return to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender. Check the seasoning. 
 
When serving, finish with a knob of butter and chopped parsley.
 
To cook the gnocchi 
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Prepare a large container of iced water.
 
Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water in small batches. When the gnocchi rise to the top they are cooked. Remove with a large slotted spoon and drop into the iced water. 
 
When all the gnocchi are cooked, drain and toss with olive oil and set aside to use later. Keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.
 
Serves 12
*You may substitute the duck for quail pieces if you prefer. 
*Make one serve of gnocchi 

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