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LUXURY CHAMPAGNES, WINES & SPIRITS

Krug x Onion: Cipolla al Formaggio Ragusano by Chef Ciccio Sultano

Krug Cellar Master Julie Cavil and former Krug Cellar Master & Deputy Director of the House, Éric Lebel, accompanied 11 Krug Ambassade Chefs from 9 different countries on an unexpected journey to India where they discovered how the unassuming onion became an inextricable staple of every cuisine in the world. From the colourful lens of Jaipur’s bustling street food scene to the delicious serenity of the neighbouring countryside, they experienced its versatility, tenacity and modest virtue, which inspire a full spectrum of creative recipes to pair with a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée or Krug Rosé. Discover Sicily native, Chef Ciccio Sultano's recipe using the humble onion and inspired by Krug Rosé 24ème Édition below.

 

You have been a Krug lover for many years, what stands out in your memory?

A recent memory comes to mind around last year’s single ingredient. I participated in a beautiful event for Krug x Pepper in Italy for the opening of my new venue, Cantieri Sultano Ragusa. It was a natural choice for me to share this milestone with Krug, as I embody the House’s guiding principles: identity, heritage and responsibility. It was wonderful to host friends from the House in Sicily and I am so glad to be contributing an onion recipe to this year’s book.

Can you share any fun facts about the onion?

Here in Sicily, we have an extraordinary onion that takes its name from the town of Giarratana. The cipolla di Giarratana is a gigantic sweet onion that can weigh from 500 g to 2 kg. We enjoy it raw, cooked, boiled – it is a real culinary catalyst.

Why do you enjoy cooking with the onion?

The onion, plays an important role in Italian recipes as a flavour enhancer. There is so much power in the onion and all its facets. I see it as a supporting actor, a real stuntman. Furthermore, I like to think I identify with the onion. My homeopath even tells me I share its sulphurous character; I like to lead but I do it with love to create an environment where people enjoy what they do rather than follow orders.

CIPOLLA AL FORMAGGIO RAGUSANO RECIPE

INGREDIENTS (2 SERVINGS)

STEP 1.

  • 2 x 150 g onions
  • 10 ml extra virgin olive oil

STEP 2.

  • 125 g freshly grated caciocavallo
  • 30 g chopped parsley
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 g cubes of bread sautéed with oil, rosemary, garlic
  • 50 g fresh ricotta

STEP 3.

  • 125 g rind of mature Ragusano cheese DOP

 

METHOD

STEP 1. COOKING ONIONS Cook the onions in tin foil for 45 min in the oven with extra virgin olive oil. Once ready, empty them, leaving only two external layers.

STEP 2. FILLING Mix together the caciocavallo, parsley, oil, salt, pepper, cubes of bread and ricotta. Fill the onions with the obtained stuffing and cook in the oven for 15 min.

STEP 3. THE BROTH Cover the rind of the Ragusano with water. Turn on the flame to the minimum setting and bring to boil. Let it boil for 30 min. Turn off the flame and let it cool in the fridge. Filter and reduce to half. Add salt if needed.

SERVING INSTRUCTIONS Pour the broth on the bottom of a soup plate (not too deep) and lay down the onions just out of the oven. If the onion is not caramelised enough, use a blowpipe torch.

 

PAIRING NOTES

The pairing of Krug Rosé 23ème Édition with an onion-based dish is ideal for the intensity expressed in the Champagne through the Pinot Noir and Meunier, but, most of all, for the mineral richness and savoury notes that contrast with the sweetness of the onion.