LOCATION AND CLIMATE

 

As you might expect, olives grown in cooler areas where there is more moisture (rainfall and dew) exhibit leaner, more restrained characteristics.  This doesn’t however mean that great oil can now be made in Iceland – you need a minimum amount of sunshine to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste remarkable, similarly to tomatoes or stone fruit.

Olive trees are sensitive to winter freeze (the Casaliva cultivar is more resistant to cold, hence being grown in the Garda region).  It is also easier to farm organically where the climate is more stable and less chemical sprays are required to keep the trees healthy.

OLIVE MATURITY

 

Here’s the thing – all olives are green.  When they become fully mature, they turn black.
Olive maturity at the time of harvest is a major factor in flavour and quality: olives harvested earlier (green olives) feature more bitter, grassy characteristics, with lower yields and with the highest anti-oxidant content.  The oil is a much more intense green colour and has a longer shelf-life.  In terms of production, milling can take longer with green olives (a longer malaxation - the action of slowly churning milled olives to release droplets of oil - is needed and can be more complicated) but the results are far superior!  Don’t choose olive oil from over mature fruit: it lacks all the potential goodness and flavour.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN GROVE AND MILL

 

People who care passionately about what they make and follow it personally every day have the capacity to create products with far higher quality, with integrity, and that taste of where they come from.  They are also able to do this by caring for the environment they inhabit.

FRANTOIO DI RIVA BOX

This box contains 6 bottles of extra virgin olive oil made exclusively by Frantoio di Riva from groves on the banks of lake Garda.

Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO green label x 3 bottles (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO organic white label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, 46°PARALLELO blue label x 1 bottle (50cl)
Frantoio di Riva, ULIVA Garda Trentino DOP x 1 bottle (50cl)

Fratoi - Paccheri with Red Mullet

Paccheri with Red Mullet

Summer Recipes

As summer comes fish takes more centre stage in our family. And this dish is a wonderful way to combine a full tummy with the flavours of the Med. Red Mullet (Triglia in Italian) is a local Mediterranean fish that is often found along the Tuscan coast (and in many local recipes, such Triglie alla Livornese). This is a dish that can be done with fresh pasta, like the Chef Luciano Zazzeri does in his wonderful restaurant on the Tuscan coast La Pineta– one of the best restaurants in Italy – but at home, and if short of time, I find the right sort of dry pasta is very good, and it’s much easier.

Ingredients

For 4 people

500 grams Paccheri dry pasta (or other large type short pasta)

300 grams whole Red Mullet + 4 fillets of Red Mullet.

½ onion chopped.

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced.

1 peperoncino (or a teaspoon of chilly flakes)

1 dozen cherry tomatoes

½ glass of wine

½  litre fish stock

 

For the stock:

The fish bones from the 4 fillets of Red Mullet

1 carrot

1 small celery stick

6 juniper berries

6 red pepper berries

1 lt water

Which EVOO to use?

Paolo Cassini, Extremum because the uplifting aromas of cut grass and pine nuts don’t overpower the delicate red mullet, yet there is enough concentration in this oil to join the party.

or

Viola, Inprivio, which is a monocultivar Frantoio and features artichoke, basil, mint and almond making it a brilliant partner for white fish in particular

Method

  1. Ask your fishmonger to fillet 2 medium sized Red Mullets, and use the left over bones and head for the fish stock., together with other stock ingredients, bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Put the water on to boil for the pasta.
  3. Once the stock is ready and the pasta water is boiling, pour a generous amount of your everyday cooking EVOO on a thick base frying pan, and fry the onion, garlic and chilly gently, until the onion is a translucent green (the green is picked up from the olive oil).
  4. Pour in the wine and burn the alcohol off. Add 4 ladleful of fish stock and cook the whole Red Mullets (not the fillets) in the the pan to cook for about 3 minutes, turning the fish so it’s cooked evenly.
  5. Put the Paccheri in the salted boiling pasta water.
  6. When ready take the fish out, keeping the sauce cooking, and take the flesh of the bones. Add the chopped tomatoes to the sauce. If you see that it’s drying out, add a bit more fish stock.
  7. Fry the Red Mullet fillets in a pan with some oil, gently on the both sides for about 1 minute. Be careful when turning or removing from the pan, so you don’t loose the lovely red skin.
  8. Put the flesh from the whole Red Mullets back in the sauce.
  9. 1 minute before the Paccheri are ready, drain them and put them to cook in the sauce, adding a little chopped parsley, a little pepper and salt if needed and turning them well to ensure the pasta is well coated by the sauce.
  10. Plate with one cooked fillet as decoration in the middle of the pasta as decoration and a drizzle of EVOO.