Matteo Downtown might be located in the heart of Sydney’s bustling CBD, but its latest menu will transport you straight to Italy. Created by executive chef Giovanni Astolfoni, the dishes draw inspiration from the regional cuisine in Abruzzo, Piedemonte, Turin, Genoa, Sicily and Rome.
If you only try one dish, make it Matteo Downtown’s lamb gnocchi. Made with lamb sourced from Sovereign lamb farm in Victoria, the recipe is a heady mix of flavour and decadence. "Ragu is a very important and sacred recipe in Italian culture, which is why you take your time cook it," explains Astolfoni. "At Matteo, the lamb is cooked for eight hours so the meat is as soft as possible." Perfect for a cold winter’s night, it is designed to not only feed your stomach but to transport your tastebuds to that distant Italian holiday.
Follow Astolfoni’s recipe or better yet, book a table at the Milanese-inspired venue to experience it first-hand.
For the gnocchi:
For the lamb ragu:
To make the gnocchi, simply steam or oven bake the potatoes with the skin on. Peel the potatoes when they are still hot and pass them through a meat mincer or moulis.
Mix it with the flour after it has cooled. Form rolls around 1 cm in diameter and cut them into 1 cm cubes to create a pillow shape.
To make the lamb ragu, caramelise the slow-cooked meat to extract all the flavour. In a separate pot, caramelize the mirepoix (carrot, onion, celery).
After all the ingredients are caramelized, deglaze them with white wine and put them together in one pot. Next, add the Mutti tomatoes and red capsicum puree. Let it simmer.
When the ragu is ready, cook the gnocchi in boiling water. When they begin to float it is a sign that the gnocchi is ready. Once cooked, transfer the gnocchi into the pan and mix it with ragu. As a final touch, add butter for flavour and consistency.
Serve with parmesan on top and lemon thyme.