A little while back man like Alejandro Valverde took home the rainbow jersey from much preferred riders Romain Bardet and Michael Woods. Immediately cycling twitter went heywire, Australian cycling pundits who had actually been sleeping like babies that Sunday night immediately awoke, preparing hot takes that would have the legs and core ready and firing for the Hell Ride in a few hours time.

Despite all the online outrage, fact is Alejandro is going to be rocking the rainbows for the next 12 months. To celebrate the contentious year ahead we’re showcasing the secret ingredient to his success. For all the speculation in the media, for all the finger pointing on socials, nobody had the brains to truly put 2 and 2 together and unlock the true secret to his success: his own brand-named Passata.

We’re not sure if it’s a celebration, but to commemorate the number of times he ended up on the lower step of the podium, here’s 6 recipes using the not-so-secret ingredient that got him his W.




Let’s start things off as Spanish as possible. Baked eggs. Have it any time you want, breakfast, post ride, late night snack as you’re staying up for El Clasico.

It’s all about some chopped up capsicum (go a few different colours for a #vibe), julienne some onions with it, chop up a chilli, add a clove or two of finely chopped garlic and cook it all until its nice and soft. Then – here’s where the magic happens. Diced peeled tomatoes (you best be using Annalisa) and ONLY Val Verde Passata. One whole tin of the former, a generous dash of the latter. Let it simmer, let the onion and the capsicum fuse together. When its been bubbling for a good while drop a couple of eggs in there, how many googs you wanna drop is entirely up to you, and whether you’re with company. Let it sit and settle for a moment in their little wells, then chuck in the oven until they’re well baked. Parsley on top, crusty bread to dip and eat with.




A staple sauce that has fed many a Soup Bæ upon their arrival to whatever team house the racing calendar has led us to. Mighty simple you can have this for dinner, then back it up the next morning for spaghetti on toast, unless theres a local country bakery – you always choose the bakery.

A few simple steps is all this one takes. Garlic, onion (finely chopped) dropped head first into a heap of olive oil. Soften it, then add some finely chopped celery and carrot. Soften them all. Next add that blend of pork & veal mince -or- and this has been fact checked, that meat free mince you can get at selected supermarkets, this recipe still goes down a treat.

Once your choice of mince is bronzing, tomato paste, a good dash of organic Val Verde Tomato Passata, and some Annalisa diced tomatoes should get your pot close to filling. Give it a good stir, let it settle a moment then salt bae the shit out of it with salt, then a couple of fresh bae leaves (bonus points if you have a tree in your garden/street). Let it simmer on a low heat and put on Andrea Bocelli’s Greatest Hits, of which there are many. The vibrations of the music help release unique nutrients that have helped all previous Italian World Road Racing Champions, all 15 of them. At the last, add some freshly torn up basil and serve up with some high qual spaghetti and freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.




While no real use on race weekends, you can still down the polpette during the winter while you’re on that bulk mission, or if you need them extra calories to see you through the CX season.

Remember that stale bread you’ve got sitting on the counter? Of course you do – time to make good use of it. Grab six or seven slices, cut the crusts off like you always asked your parents to, and soak it for a fiver in a cup of milk and a cup of water. Go ahead and squeeze all the milk out when the timer is up, then throw in that special blend of pork & veal mince, three eggs, a finely chopped garlic clove, some finely chopped parsley, some grated parmigiano cheese, and some CURRANTS (we wildin’ here – go for 1/3 of a cup). Mix it all together like you were in Ghost, work that wheel, the important thing is: palm sized balls.

Drop each into some 00 flour, fill a deep pan with some vegetable oil and when hot drop em in. Don’t overcrowd the pan, keep things bubbling away and when each is done sit ‘em aside on some paper towel to chill out

But what about Val Verde Tomato Passata? That’s next. Garlic, heaps of olive oil, chopped basil. Let it heat up for a sec. Add a dozen chopped up Roma’s and heeeeeaps of Alejandro’s 2018 Vintage. Let it simmer for half an hour, big spoonfuls of the sauce over each polpette to serve.




The amount of cheese in this one will leave you with nightmares, so perhaps don’t try this recipe if you’re in the process of training for either the Baw Baw Classic or the Tour of Bright. Nor should you try this recipe if you’re living life sleep deprived from watching the Tour or the Vuelta every night. The Giro is fine, Fausto would expect you to get on this level.

To be completely honest, you’d be better of just buying the cannelloni shells. But if you wanna go HAM and you’ve got time to kill – Make a well in a cup worth of flour, sit an egg in the middle, sprinkle some Sicilian seat salt over the top and start working it all into the middle. Add some milk as you go, then go wild on the stirring until its all smooth. Pour some of the mixture in a hot pan and get flipping. You should be able to make 5-6 of these from that mix.

Good ricotta, fresh or frozen spinach depending on how much you want to/don’t want to prep, a tiny bit of garlic and an egg. Mix it all together and hold tight. Scoop some down onto each cannelloni you’re bringing up from the frypan and sit them together, rolled up in a baking tray. That sauce from the polpette recipe. Repeat it. Pour it over the top, grate various Italian cheeses, rip up some mozzarella to go on top and put in the oven until it starts to get crispy. Tear up some basil and bone apple tea.




This soup is truly blessed, you’d best believe us, the Soup Boys. If you’re ever cooked enough to try your own #wntrslstc, or if you’ve just completed our #wntrslstc alongside us, this is the elixir that will bring you back to life, as it did this past June.

Soak some Cannellini beans overnight. If you don’t have time for that cop a few tins of Annalisa beans (700g worth). Whatever your poison is, drain them and place them in a large pot, cover them with water and bring to a gentle boil, simmer away until they’re al dente. Rinse and repeat – literally. Strain them, keep the water and put the beans to the side.

Peel and dice 2 potatoes, chop up a bunch each of cavolo nero, silverbeet and/or cabbage. Chop up a decent celery stick, a few carrots, a few onions and some garlic. Add those four ingredients to some olive oil in a pan, soften em all, then get them golden. Add your potatoes and Val Verde Organic Tomato Passata. Add your chopped leaves and the beans, gradually adding that literal bean water to the pot bit by bit. Include the use of vegetable stock along the way too. Bring it to the boil and chill on it for almost an hour until you put a bit of rosemary and thyme (TV Show).

After 45-50 minutes of boiling take a small bit of it off the top – liquid and vegetables and throw in a food processor or NutriBullet. Blitz that motherfucker with a bit more of the vegetable stock. Put it all back in the soup.

More of that stale bread you’ve got on the counter will come in handy again, only this time make sure you wasted $8 at D. Chirico by getting something nice. Cut it all into big cubes, add the bread to the soup and let it rest for at least an hour. Throw some chilli over the top before serving up.




Want the energy of an Up & Go without the hefty sugar content? Want to hit one or more servings of your fruit and or veg in a single hit? Want to know how it feels like to be a World Road Racing Champion? Val Verde Tomato Passata – there’s a reason the bottle is in such an easy to hold jar. There’s nothing but tomato puree and acidity regulator. Pop the lid and suck it down, you’ll be tasting the rainbow soon enough.

adrian z