Danilo Cortellini loves a good old classic mille-feuille, when done well. A velvety Chantilly cream or crème patissière combined with seasonal berries or nuts in layers of tuilles or crispy puff pastry. For a sweet tooth like Danilo, that is dessert heaven!

But, what if? What if a mille-feuille is not sweet but savoury and cheesy instead?! With the exact same concept and shape but instead of Chantilly you use a rich Prosecco DOC and Grana Padano PDO cheese sabayon, and instead of berries, seasonal British asparagus. Would that work? Well, there is only one way to find out!

Chef’s tips: this playful recipe is meant to deceive and entertain guests as well as stimulate their palate before a main course. Keep the portion small and enjoy it with a cold glass of Prosecco DOC.


Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6
Difficulty: Intermediate 

  • 100g egg whites
  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g flour, sieved
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 30g grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80ml Prosecco DOC Brut
  • 40g fine grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
  • 1g saffron
  • 100g whipped cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 green asparagus
  • A few basil leaves
  • Whipped cream (unsweetened)
  • Chopped pistachios
  1. To prepare the tuilles, mix the whites with the sieved flour and the icing sugar until smooth then add the very soft butter and a good pinch of salt. Now spread the mixture over a baking parchment sheet and work it with a spatula evenly until very thin (1mm maximum). Sprinkle with grated Grana Padano PDO cheese and bake at 180 °C for 7/8 minutes (or until golden). When ready, place straight onto the table and cut into rings while hot, using a pastry cutter. If necessary, you can re-bake the pastry rings to achieve a uniform colour. Let them cool on the side and keep in an airtight container.
  2. To prepare the Prosecco DOC sabayon, mix the egg yolks with the Prosecco DOC and the saffron in a large stainless-steel bowl. Place the bowl on a bain-marie and cook gently while whisking to create custard-like sabayon. Never allow the water to reach boiling point or it will scramble the eggs.
  3. Once thick and creamy, remove from the heat and let it cool. Gently incorporate the very finely grated Grana Padano PDO cheese and the whipped cream and add salt and pepper to taste. The result should be a silky and indulgent Chantilly-like texture. Place it into a pastry bag.
  4. Peel and trim the asparagus from the woody end. Blanch them in salted boiling water for just 30 seconds and cool in iced water to retain a vibrant green colour. Pat dry with kitchen paper and cut into 1 ½ cm lengths. Dress with a little drizzle of olive oil, salt and black pepper and keep at room temperature.
  5. Build the mille-feuille as if it was a dessert directly on the plates. Alternate dollops of sabayon and asparagus over the tuilles and repeat the operation for a second layer. An extra sprinkle of Grana Padano PDO cheese will give it boost. Top with the asparagus tips and chopped pistachios. Drizzle with oil before serving and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Recipe by Danilo Cortellini