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)

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Spaghetti con Agretti

Like any vegetable that appears in the market for only a few weeks a year, agretti feels like a rare treat. When the weather is such that we can sit comfortably outside for lunch, this makes a great meal: light, but full of flavour, and very easy to make. Just make sure you have cleaned the agretti really well before cooking.

 

Serves 4

400 grams of good quality spaghetti (we like Mancini or Rummo brands for this dish, as they retain more bite and flavour).

A large bunch (about 300 grams) of Agretti

1 clove of garlic

1 large spring onion, sliced

1 fresh chilli, sliced

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Put a large pot of generously salted water to boil, which you will use both for the agretti and the spaghetti.

Gently fry the clove of garlic in olive oil, until it starts to change colour, then discard. Add the onions and cook very slowly, until translucent (about 10 minutes), and then the chilli. If the onions are drying up too quickly, take off the heat and add a little water from the pasta pot.

Clean the agretti carefully, by cutting the pink and red roots off, soak them in a large bowl (or the sink) in cold water, then wash every single bunch under running water, checking whether there are any roots left to cut off or any hard leaves. (consider that agretti can be eaten raw, so you want to make sure all the leaves are soft).

Timing is crucial now: check the pasta cooking time, then shave off 30 seconds, and put the spaghetti to cook. Once there are 5 minutes left on the clock, add the agretti and cook together, then drain (leaving aside 1/2 a cup of water from the pasta), and pour the spaghetti and veggies in to the onions. Sautee for 30 seconds, tossing well, adding olive oil and a bit of the pasta water if it looks too dry. Take off the heat, add the lemon zest, then taste for seasoning and add a little more olive oil.

We use Tenuta Arcamone from the De Carlo family in Puglia for this dish, bringing the Agretti to life and complementing it’s minerality and freshness.