Reduce food waste with these recipes from world-famous chef Massimo Bottura

by Lauraine Jacobs / 30 August, 2018
Massimo Bottura.

Massimo Bottura.

RelatedArticlesModule - Massimo Bottura

In new cookbook Bread Is Gold, world-famous chef Massimo Bottura and friends create recipes to feed the planet by reducing waste.

Chefs and restaurateurs from around the world gathered in Bilbao, Spain, for the announcement of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 in June. No New Zealand establishments made the list, although Kiwi-born Ben Shewry’s Attica, in Melbourne, ranked 20th, rising 12 places on last year’s list.

Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, regained top spot, and in his acceptance speech he said he would “use the spotlight to show the world that chefs are more than the sum of their recipes”.

But Bottura has already shown that, at the Expo 2015 world fair in Milan. Inspired by the food-focused theme, “Feeding the planet, energy for life”, and after input from designers, artists and Catholic charity Caritas Ambrosiana, he opened pop-up restaurant Refettorio Ambrosiano – from the Latin “reficere”, to rebuild and restore – in a rundown part of the city. Surplus food from the expo was delivered daily to feed lunch to local children and dinner to the homeless. International chefs who attended the expo were invited to give up a day to cook in the Refettorio Ambrosiano kitchens.

Bottura’s project was a resounding success, leading to similar initiatives in Rio de Janeiro, London and Paris. He wrote a book, Bread is Gold: Extraordinary Meals with Ordinary Ingredients (Massimo Bottura & Friends, Hachette $65), filled with recipes from high-profile chefs who volunteered to work at the restaurant.

I was thrilled to see New Zealand-born chef Jessica Murphy in the book. She runs Kai, a café and restaurant on the coast of Galway, Ireland, with her husband. Murphy has cooked in the Milan and London Refettorio restaurants and says Bottura is “a real honey” and that she is “really chuffed to be in the book”.

Murphy was named Best Chef in Ireland 2018 by the Restaurants Association of Ireland in May. It’s an impressive achievement for the chef from Wairoa in Hawke’s Bay but she says, “When you come from there it certainly sets you up for the big wide world over here.”

The surplus food from the expo was often bread, overripe bananas and minced beef (hamburger patties), and many of the book’s recipes make use of these ingredients. Who thinks of using banana peels? How many ways can stale bread be used? Who throws away cheese rinds?

Banana-peel chutney.

Banana-peel chutney. Photography by Piermichele Borraccia

Banana-Peel Chutney

1 tbsp mustard seeds
30g butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red onions, diced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 malagueta or habanero chilies, chopped
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2½ tsp coriander seeds
1½ tsp whole cloves
1½ tsp cardamom pods
2 star anise
peel from 5 overripe bananas, finely diced
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp packed light brown sugar
juice of 2 oranges, plus more if needed
50g whole green grapes
juice of 2 limes

In a saucepan, heat the mustard seeds over medium heat until they start to pop. Add the butter, oil and onions and sauté until golden, then add the ginger, chilies, and spices and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the banana peels, salt, brown sugar and orange juice and cook for 15 minutes, or until a thick chutney consistency is obtained. Add the grapes and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and add more orange juice or filtered water if necessary to obtain a jammy consistency. Season to taste with salt and sweeten with sugar if necessary. Add the lime juice and stir. Transfer to a sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Makes about 1¾ cups (600g)

Alice Delcourt’s minestrone. Photography by Piermichele Borraccia

Alice Delcourt’s minestrone. Photography by Piermichele Borraccia

Alice Delcourt’s Minestrone

2 litres water
700g parmesan cheese rinds
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
3 sage leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 carrots, diced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt
200g conchiglioni or other small shell pasta
200g stale bread, diced
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
10 basil leaves, finely sliced 

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, cheese rinds, thyme, rosemary and sage and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately reduce the heat and gently simmer for 1 hour. Remove the rinds and strain the broth through a colander, then set aside at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 175°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, fennel and potatoes and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 5 seconds, then season with salt. Add the parmigiano broth and boil for 6 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Place the bread on the baking sheet and lightly toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, then toss with the basil. To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls, garnish with the toasted bread and sprinkle with salt.

Serves 6
Wine match: light Italian red

This article was first published in the August 11, 2018 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

Latest

Keira Knightley shines in bodice-ripping period drama Colette
102397 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Movies

Keira Knightley shines in bodice-ripping period dr…

by James Robins

The story of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a heroine of French literature, focuses on her early struggles.

Read more
Is barbecued meat bad for your health?
102255 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Nutrition

Is barbecued meat bad for your health?

by Jennifer Bowden

Sizzling meat on the barbecue is the sound and smell of summer, but proceed with caution.

Read more
March of the Algorithms: Who’s at the wheel in the age of the machine?
102434 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Tech

March of the Algorithms: Who’s at the wheel in the…

by Jenny Nicholls

Complacently relying on algorithms can lead us over a cliff – literally, in the case of car navigation systems.

Read more
IBM’s new quantum computer: The future of computing
102458 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Tech

IBM’s new quantum computer: The future of computin…

by Peter Griffin

The Q System One, as IBM calls it, doesn’t look like any conventional computer and it certainly doesn’t act like one.

Read more
James Shaw: Capital gains tax key to fixing wealth gap
102456 2019-02-15 14:54:45Z Politics

James Shaw: Capital gains tax key to fixing wealth…

by RNZ

The week before a major tax report is released, Green Party co-leader James Shaw has again challenged his government partners to back the tax.

Read more
Jealousy, murder and lies: The killing of Arishma Chand
102448 2019-02-15 10:28:12Z Crime

Jealousy, murder and lies: The killing of Arishma…

by Anneke Smith

Arishma Chand was just 24 when she was murdered.

Read more
Top wine picks from Central Otago
102233 2019-02-15 00:00:00Z Wine

Top wine picks from Central Otago

by Michael Cooper

Tucked into small corners, Central Otago vineyards offer nuggets worth digging for. Wine critic Michael Coopers offers his top picks.

Read more
Ivanka and her tower of crumbs
102404 2019-02-14 10:33:12Z Arts

Ivanka and her tower of crumbs

by Preminda Jacob

For two hours each evening, an Ivanka Trump lookalike has been vacuuming a hot pink carpet at the Flashpoint Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Read more