Risotto salsiccia funghi

Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi

I met Maybe Corpaci a few years ago, when I was adamant that I was going to be a fashion photographer. Yes you heard me! Just two years ago I would never have thought (in my wildest dreams) that my career path would end up in food. 

Maybe worked at the wildly popular and very well known Elle magazine South Africa. I was a photographic assistant to the incomparable fashion duo, Elford De la Foret at the time and surprisingly, Maybe and I connected over food. 

In retrospect, I should have already known then that the stars were aligning into a shape of a crockery pot. Needless to say, all these years later; Maybe and I decided to do a little cook for you. 

Maybe is a fiery Italian women that is fearlessly beautiful and knows her way around the kitchen. When I asked her what we would be cooking, a singular booming word was the reply, Risotto!

Now, I might be many things, but certainly not one to argue with an Italian who wants to cook the elusive risotto and show me the ropes.

So here it is. 

Believe it or not, I over salted it at the end; so watch out for that. The salsiccia sausage and the broth both have plenty of salt, and coupled with the Parmesan, leave the dish perfectly seasoned.

A rookie error on my part, never to be repeated.

However, having said that, allow your guests to season for themselves if they are so inclined, but caution them accordingly.

A simple, "Put down the salt Grandma!" should suffice.


  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 150 grams salsiccia sausage 
  • 1 cup risotto
  • ½ a cup of white wine  
  • 1 liter beef broth 
  • 1 teaspoon saffron 
  • 4 wild mushrooms (shitake) sliced. 
  • 3 knobs of butter 
  • 40 grams of Parmesan cheese 


Chop the onions finely and add to a casserole pot with your olive oil and soften. Make sure the pot has a lid. 

Remove the sausage from the skin and break it up with your fingers. Add it to your onions and fry until golden brown. 

Add the risotto and fry on a medium to high heat until the grain becomes slightly translucent. 

Add ½ a cup of white wine and cook for 2-3 minutes. You want the alcohol to evaporate. 

Add your beef broth one ladle at a time. Keep stirring. As the liquid absorbs add more broth feeding your risotto. Your cooking time should be 15-18 minutes. 

At the 13-minute mark add a tablespoon of broth to the teaspoon of saffron in a separate bowl. Let the saffron steep for 3 minutes. Add the saffron to the risotto. 

Slice the mushrooms and fry with a little butter in a separate frying pan over a high heat until golden brown. 

Add the mushrooms to the risotto and fold through. Remove from heat and pot the lid on the casserole. Let the risotto sit for 3 minutes before serving.


Homemade Gnocchi with Ragu or Sage Butter


Calling all gnocchi lovers!

I have always envied Italian blood or perhaps more specifically being able to cook with your Nona and learn the true Italian way. Italian food is possibly one of my all time favourites!

I am sure you can agree when Julia Roberts eats that bowl of spaghetti in Eat Pray Love that you were never the same again.

I completely lost myself in that moment of the fork swirling the spaghetti and the Neapolitan sauce oozing with rich tomato flavour and of course the slurping up of that perfectly al dente spaghetti. All that was needed was some fresh basil and I would have sold my Kenwood mixer for that moment (not really but pretty close)

Cooking for friends and sharing recipes with them is what inspired me to invite contributors to my blog. I wanted to create a space that wasn’t only a single voice (my recipes and my story)

Combining my love for EVERYTHING Italian (I even drive Italian) and the  approach of a collective experience; I found my first candidate! The beautiful and wildly talented fashion guru Miss Raya Rossi from The Visual Journal!

I can guarantee you that a day cooking with her was filled with laughter and of course a lot of snap chat! You should follow us @melissadelport and @RayaAFF 

We decided that gnocchi was going to be the order of the day. Reason being? It’s so damn hard to make a good homemade gnocchi. I decided to combine our recipes and the outcome? Sheer brilliance. The best part is that we did gnocchi two ways with a simple ragu and a butter sage sauce not to forget our vegetarians out there! You will not go wrong with this recipe!

I also thought I should share the following excerpt from Eat Pray Love because it is one of the truest sentiments I have ever heard.

Liz: I’m in love. I’m having a relationship with my pizza. You look like you’re breaking up with your pizza. What’s the matter?

Sofi: I can’t.

Liz: What do you mean you can’t? This is Pizza Margherita in Napoli, it is imperative to eat and enjoy that pizza.

Sofi: I want to, but I’ve gained like ten pounds. I mean, I’ve got this. . .right here in my tummy, you know this. . .what’s it called? What’s the word for it?

Liz: A muffin top. I have one too.

Sofi: I unbuttoned my jeans like five minutes ago just looking at this.

Liz: Lemme ask you a question, in all the years you’ve ever undressed for a gentleman–

Sofi: —it hasn’t been that many.

Liz: Alright. Has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever walked out, left?

Sofi: No.

Liz: Because he doesn’t care. He’s in a room with a naked girl. He’s won the lottery. I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consumed so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese; I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game and tomorrow we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.

P.s If you have not seen Eat Pray Love, you need to do 3 things immediately, rent it, make this gnocchi for dinner and open a good wine!


serves 5


  • 500 grams mince meat (try get non lean meat as it softens better with the fat but lean will also do)
  • a few good glugs of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped 
  • 2 carrots grated 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1 bottle Passata (tomato pure in a bottle) 800grams 
  • 1 onion grated 
  • 1 cup parmesan grated 
  • 1/2 a cup of milk 
  • 200 grams butter 
  • half a cup of sage leaves 
  • 800 ml potato (should be about 8 large potatoes) 
  • 4 egg yolks 
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 150 ml parmesan grated
  • 200-250 ml flour 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup course cooking salt



Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius 

Boil the potatoes until soft. Do not over boil them. You should be able to pierce them with a fork but they should still be firm.  
Place the potatoes onto of the coarse cooking salt and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes. 
Allow to cool.
Once cool, cut in half and scoop out the insides and pass through a sieve. The other option is to put the potatoes through a potato ricer like Raya did. 
Form potatoes lightly together and make a well in the middle. 
Put in yolks, parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg and lemon rind and work together until combined.
Then add flour. Do not knead the mixture work gently with it. Add the flour in stages until you are able to roll the gnocchi into sausages and cut them into bit size pieces. 
Gently use a fork to make indentations for the sauce to stick. 
POACH the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the surface. Then remove them. This is the secret, do not boil the gnocchi as they will break. 

Ragu Sauce:

Add olive oil, garlic clove salt, pepper, 2 grated carrots, oregano, thyme in a pot on high heat. Add the bottle of passata (tomato puree in glass bottle). Put lid on. Turn to medium heat and leave for 15 mins. 
Grate an onion into a separate pan of hot olive oil and butter.
Cook the onion with salt, pepper and oregano until soft.
Braise the meat with the onion and add more olive oil.
Let the meat cook for 10 minutes.
Add 2 table spoons of passata into the meat for extra flavour.
Once the meat is lightly cooked add it to the passata pot. 
Add a cup full of finely grated parmesan.
This gives it more flavour (without adding more salt)
Let the ragu cook on low heat for another 15-20 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken. There should be more meat then sauce. 
Add half a cup of milk, and continue to let cook for another 5 minutes. 

Butter sage:

Fry the butter and sage over a medium to high heat. 
Add the gnocchi. Remove once the butter has browned.

Raya's Top Tips:
- Use a carrot to sweeten the passata if the tomato is slightly acidic. 
- Grate your carrots and onions they cook better
- Let your meat soak in the flavour of the tomato - leave it on low for longer. 


wild mushroom risotto

A few years ago, when my mom and I had just moved to Durban, my mom was making new friends and having them over for one of her famous dinner parties. From the decked out table to the flowers, my mom is a master at hosting and cooking. The new friends coming over were a delight and she couldn't wait to impress them. Hours before she was in the kitchen cooking away and making sure everything was perfect. We were having prawn risotto. She tucked the completed meal into the warming draw, washed up and got ready for her guests to arrive. After the welcome drinks it was time for dinner. My mom’s new friends were offered to dish up first. Much to my mother shock as she was dishing, she realized that the risotto had gone stogy and was now like porridge, which you couldn't flick of the spoon if you tried. After dinner it came out. Jackie, my mom’s new friend was a chef (which she politely let out during dinner) the laughter that preceded the porridge like risotto has now resulted in a best friendship that has been going for 14 years! 

Risotto has that reputation of being difficult to make and even harder to not over cook. With this recipe I believe we will break boundaries. The biggest trick is to finish it off, as you are about to serve. But who knows, if it bombs there might be a best friendship in the mix for you. 


  • 1 cup wild mushrooms
  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 500ml warm water
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml light chicken stock
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 80g parmesan cheese
  • 30g butter
  • Salt and pepper


Remove porcini mushrooms from soaking liquid and gently squeeze. Mix the porcini stock with the chicken stock and reserve for cooking. Chop up the porcini and fresh wild mushrooms. Fry in small batches until nice and caramelised set aside for later. Don’t add to much oil when you are frying, as you don't want them to go soggy. 

Sauté onions gently in olive oil until light golden in colour over a medium heat. 

Add Arborio rice and stir until is completely coated in oil. You will see the rice go slightly translucent while you are frying it with the onions. at this stage you can begin to add the stock. 

Add 100ml hot stock and stir continuously until it has been almost completely absorbed, then add another 100ml. repeat the process with the remaining stock. If you wish to wait until your guests arrive then you will stop the cooking half way through the stock. When your guests arrive put the pan back on your medium heat and continue the process of adding the stock and stirring in until it is absorbed. Remember your stock must be hot! 

Test to see if the rice is cooked when you add the last addition of stock.

The rice should be creamy, tender but with a slight bite. if not quite tender enough continue adding spoonful’s of water until cooked through.

To serve, stir through mushrooms, Parmesan and butter season to taste and serve immediately.