Sartago's Paella - Guest Post

Every now and then we've had the privilege of having top chefs from around the world share their favourite recipes on Gourmet Male. We've had Australian, Italian, English, and American chefs talk about what they love to cook. Today is no difference as Chef Riccardo Messora of Sartago Tapas Wine Bar in Richmond, VIC has chipped in with his Uncle's favourite paella recipe. And if you're a regular visitor of Gourmet Male you'll know we not only love our Spanish food, we absolutely adore paella. Enjoy! 


My uncle's Paella “alla Valenciana”

Ingredients for 12 people:

  • 4lt        Chicken or veg Stock
  • 500 gm    Pork short ribs
  • 500 gm    Chicken thighs boned and diced
  • 1 kg        Paella rice (Calasparra, Bomba, or alternatively Arborio)
  • 2 doz        Tiger prawns cleaned (tail on)
  • 2 ½ doz    Mussels
  • 2 ½ doz    Clams        
  • 4 ea        Red capsicums (peeled from raw and sliced in ½ cm strips by 5 cm)
  • 1 ea        Onion finely chopped
  • 4 ea        Garlic cloves minced
  • 7 gm        Saffron threads
  • 1 tbs        Tumeric ground
  • 2 tbs        Paprika mild
  • 500 ml    White wine
  • 500 gm    Tin diced tomatoes
  • 500 gm    Peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 150 gm    Chopped parsley



1- Gather, prep and have ready all ingredients before start cooking

Note: This recipe is quite a large amount, so it is important to have a large enough pan. The ingredients don't have to be too much on top of each other, and the burner should cover almost all of the bottom of the pan. As this is a summery dish, this recipe can also be cooked on top of a BBQ outside, as long as there is an even heat all round. Paella burners, which are designed especially for this dish, and are also quite easy to purchase online or in cooking shops. No lid is required while cooking a paella.

2- Heat some olive oil in the paella pan or a shallow & wide frying pan, and brown ribs and chicken.

3- Add the capsicums, onion and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes

4- Mix all the spices together and dust them all round, fry for 5 minutes then deglaze with white wine

5- Add the rice, stir a little, spread even and pour in half of the hot stock.

6- When the stock has been absorbed, add the tin tomatoes and the rest of the stock.

7- When the tomatoes and rest of the stock starts to absorb, place all the seafood on top in an alternated circular fashion and slowly allow to cook

8- At the same time scatter the peas around the pan

9- When the rice is cooked, the dish is ready

10- Chop the parsley, sprinkle on top and serve

Sartago Chef Riccardo Messora.jpg

Thanks, Chef! We love having new gourmet males join us on our culinary journey. I can't wait to visit soon.

Sartago Tapas Wine Bar
Chef Riccardo Messora
460 Church St
Richmond, VIC (Melbourne)


Surf Clams, Peach Granita, Olive Oil

Recently I cooked a degustation for Assistance Dogs Australia and 13 people. Eight courses. That adds up to 104 dishes! And it really came off well after many nights preparing and planning. One of the star dishes of the night was my Surf Clams, Peach Granita, and olive oil. I was originally searching for razor clams to recreate the dish from Mugaritz but they're near impossible to find in Sydney and Surf Clams actually paired perfectly with the granita and oil.


To make this dish for four people you'll need:

  • 20 surf clams (you can find them at the fish markets vacuum packed)
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 peaches, chopped
  • 1 cup apple juice

Dissolve the sugar in water in a saucepan on low and then put aside to cool. Blend the peaches with a stick blender and then extract the juice using a fine sieve. Combine with the apple juice and sugar water and then pour into a thin metal pan and put in the freezer. After two hours mix up and scrape with a fork. Break up the crystals each hour until the granita is light and fluffy. 

Heat the clams in recently boiling water until they open. Serve five clams (out of their shell) per plate with a scoop of granita and drizzle with olive oil.

So simple but very effective, trust me!

Guest Chef Murray Wilson - "The Rockpool"

Seriously, it never ceases to amaze me how cool chefs are around the globe. I met Chef Murray Wilson recently on Twitter and immediately he was up for a guest post. In any case, here is Chef Murray's guest post. Thank him on Twitter @murray_wilson if you want. Awesome! 

Chef Murray Wilson - 'The Rockpool' 

I created this dish to recreate a childhood memory of foraging in rocks by the beach. 


Everything on the rock is edible, mussels, clams and oysters. The broth is then made into a foam to mimic waves. The sand is fennel and roasted garlic, pickled seaweed and cucumber compressed in gin, samphire, smoked avocado purée, chicory root baked in clay and bay leaf powder to mimic rocks and moss. And a touch of apple for freshness and acidity. 

The rock was foraged from a local lake and the dish is served like this to diners with the story behind the dish told. Many diners found that it did remind them of childhood times and even a couple were quite emotional. 

It's fantastic that food and presentation can affect people in such a profound way and it makes me very proud to be a part of such a great industry


Inspired by Tostadas...

Recently, on one of my many (many, many, many) flights to and from Melbourne, I watched an episode of "No Reservations" where Tony Bourdain visited Baja Mexico. On the trip he spent time at La Guerrerense in Ensenada, which is a little tostada street cart that he called some of the best street food in the world. Big call! But the episode inspired me and I decided to pop by a friend's new house over the weekend and whip up some gourmet seafood tostadas.

Now, if you don't know what a tostada is it's a crispy tortilla base that's topped with any number of ingredients. In the lower north shore of Sydney I wasn't able to find a place that carries tostada shells so I bought regular tortillas and cut two rounds out of each one using a jar top as a guide. I then fried the tostadas in a bit of vegetable oil in a frying pan until crisp - about two or three minutes per side.

I made three different varieties but you can mix and match as you desire and also come up with your own toppings! The first one I made was crab with lime mayo and cabbage. 

crab chili mayo.jpg

You'll need:

  • 1 tin shredded crab meat
  • 3 tbsp whole egg mayo
  • juice of half a lime
  • shredded cabbage
  • chopped chives
  • paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • tabasco sauce (optional)

Mix the mayo with the lime juice and a sprinkle of paprika and a dash of salt and pepper. Add the crab meat until mixed well. Place a dollop of the mixture to a tostada shell and top with shredded cabbage, chopped chives, and a dash of tabasco sauce.

Next came octopus with tuna and pickled jalepeno. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste combination in this one and it actually was a crowd favourite!

tuna jalepeno octopus.jpg

You'll need:

  • 1 tin tuna fillets (I used Serena tuna)
  • pickled jalepenos (they're now in the Mexican food section of your grocer)
  • 6 baby octopus, heads removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped red chili
  • chili paste

Add the olive oil to a saucepan and heat. Add the chilis and octopus and fry for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and chop the octopus into small bite-sized pieces. To a tostada shell add a chunk of tuna topped with a slice of picked jalepeno then add a pile of the chopped octopus and top with a bit of chili paste.

Lastly, I made a scallop and dory ceviche tostada. This was incredibly tasty and my personal favourite.

scallop dory ceviche.jpg

You'll need:

  • 6 fresh scallops
  • 2 firm dory fillets
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped red chili
  • chopped coriander
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt & pepper
  • tabasco sauce (optional)

Chope the dory into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Thinly slice the scallops and add to the dory. Add the onion, coriander, chili, salt and pepper, and juice and then stir. Let the ceviche sit in the fridge for a half hour, stirring occasionally.

Top a tostada shell with ceviche and add a splash of tabasco sauce. Yum...