Prosecco, a sparkling wine produced in Italy’s Veneto region, is the perfect aperitif for any day of the week. Delightful on its own, prosecco is also a key ingredient in many Italian cocktails like the Aperol Spritz – and its light bubbles make it a nice accompaniment for fritti, pizza and other comforting dishes. To ring in the new year, grab a bottle of Prosecco DOC and pour yourself a glass of bubbles before whipping up some festive prosecco recipes!
Here are three ideas supplied by Pino and Julia of Grano & Farina Cooking School in Rome. To start, a Peach Bellini. To fill you up, a Prosecco Risotto. And to finish it all off, a Prosecco Ciambellone!
- 1 bottle of Prosecco
- 3-5 ripe peaches
- champagne glasses
Wash your peaches while you chill your prosecco. The peaches should be sweet and medium soft (not hard and crunchy nor too mushy). Use one peach to cut 12 small wedges to be used as garnish on the side of your glass.
Cut up the other peaches into smaller chunks to sit at the bottom of your flute and flavor your prosecco. If you prefer to follow the classic recipe you can also blitz 1-2 of your peaches into a purée and add a bit to each glass making a cloudier, but equally as delicious, peachy cocktail. Serve chilled. Salute – or cin cin!
Prosecco and Leek Risotto
- 10 oz / 320g arborio rice (also Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
- 3 leeks, white part only, finely minced
- 1 cup / 225 prosecco, room temperature
- 4 cups (hot) / 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 oz / 90g butter
- Freshly grated Parmesan (or Grana or aged Gruyere or Comte or Mimolette)
1. Leeks confit
Melt 1oz of butter in a small skillet or pot over medium heat, wait until foam subsides then add leek, a pinch of salt, cook over low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Ready when translucent and soft but before starting to brown. Set aside.
Note: this step can be done ahead, even the day before. Keep refrigerated if made over 2 hrs in advance. Leeks can also be substituted by onions; add a pinch of sugar if the onions have a strong flavor.
2. Cooking the Rice
Start by melting in a deep skillet 2oz of butter, over medium-high heat. Add the rice, make sure that the grains are well coated with butter. Let cook until the grains are partially translucent and there is a faint smell of nuts. At this point add the Prosecco, stir well and let the alcohol evaporate entirely. When the rice starts to look dry lower the heat, add the leeks and start adding the stock, one ladle at the time. Taste the rice and adjust the seasoning. Do not over salt as the final step adds salty cheese. Keep adding stock until the rice is almost al dente. At this point take the pan off the heat, add the cheese and the butter. Stir and cover for a few minutes.
Serve immediately with some cheese shavings for garnish, if desired. Leftovers can be shaped into patties, coated in cheese and/or breadcrumbs and pan fried in a hot non-stick skillet. Very good with a green salad.
Ciambellone al Prosecco
- 160g all purpose flour (cake or pastry flour will also work)
- 70g corn or potato starch
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 whole eggs, room temperature
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- 100g prosecco
- 180g olive oil
- 200g icing, or very fine sugar
- Very fine zest of 1 untreated lemon
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 heavy pinch of salt
Start by preheating the oven to 180C/350F. Prepare a bundt pan with butter and flour. Sift together flour, starch and baking powder. Set aside.
In a blender mix the 2 whole eggs, 3 egg whites, prosecco, oil, zest, sugar and salt until emulsified (a bit like a mayonnaise). Transfer to a large bowl and gradually add the dry ingredients.
At this point, if you have time, you could refrigerate the batter for 12 hours. This extra step would yield a more flavorful cake and gives the gluten time to rest in case you over mixed the batter.
Pour the batter into the bundt pan, level the top and bake for about 40 minutes. Lower the baking temperature if the top is browning too fast and use a wooden skewer to check for doneness. Cool before unmolding and dust with icing sugar before serving.