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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

My key ingredient: mozzarella cheese 

"At our restaurant we use mozzarella in the majority of our dishes – as a starter, on top of pizza, in pasta and even in our cheesecake," says chef Salvo Sardo

Mozzarella cheese is one of chef Salvo Sardo's favourite ingredients. Courtesy Italian Dairy Products
Mozzarella cheese is one of chef Salvo Sardo's favourite ingredients. Courtesy Italian Dairy Products

Salvo Sardo, chef de cuisine at Ronda Locatelli at Atlantis, The Palm, says: “I think one of my favourite ingredients is mozzarella cheese. At our restaurant we use mozzarella in the majority of our dishes – as a starter, on top of pizza, in pasta and even in our cheesecake. It automatically adds an authentic Italian touch to the dish and is so good to share.”

Chef Salvo Sardo. Courtesy Ronda Locatelli
Chef Salvo Sardo. Courtesy Ronda Locatelli

Gnocchi Sorrentina, mozzarella foam and basil oil

Serves 10

Ingredients and method for the gnocchi

1.1kg red potatoes

280 to 300g “00” flour

1 egg yolk

15g salt

  • Preheat the oven to 2000C. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add the salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until soft (about 60 to 90 minutes).
  • While the potatoes are still hot, peel them and put them in a deep metal tray. Break them apart and cover with foil.
  • Put the potatoes in the oven to dry for 15 minutes.
  • Pass the potatoes through a fine sieve, weigh them in a big bowl (should be 1kg cooked), and add the rest of the ingredients, mixing quickly until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.
  • Cover the dough with a kitchen cloth while shaping the gnocchi mixture into even-sized balls. Work the dough while hot.

Ingredients and method for the mozzarella foam

265g buffalo mozzarella

170g milk

35g cream

0.3g xantana

4g salt

  • Blend all the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency.

Ingredients and method for the basil oil

200g extra virgin olive oil

100g fresh basil

  • Blanch the basil in a generous amount of boiling water for approximately three seconds and then cool down in an ice bucket. Strain and blend with the extra virgin olive oil.

Ingredients and method for the sorrentina sauce

400g cherry tomatoes

1 clove garlic

5ml extra virgin olive oil

100g grated Grana Padano cheese

  • Chop and gently cook the garlic with the olive oil, add in the cherry tomatoes, a pinch of salt and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Place the gnocchi (see above) in a generous amount of boiling water. Once it starts floating, it means it is cooked.
  • Strain and add to the sauce. Mix the gnocchi and sauce with grated Grana Padano cheese and plate, finish with the mozzarella foam and basil oil.

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