A good breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated. With the right herbs and spices, a simple avocado smash with some fried mushrooms can be a cheap alternative to going out for breakfast. Here I’ve fried the mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, Italian spices, oregano and a good sprinkle of salt/pepper. Add a little water if the mushrooms are burning. For the avocado, add a little olive oil and salt/pepper for extra flavour.
Banana bread has to be the easiest type of cake you will ever make. You can mix everything with a fork and a wooden spoon and you don’t need an electric mixer to beat any eggs. Basically mash the bananas and combine with the flour, sugar and eggs /oil and your done. This banana bread has a twist with lime juice/zest, shredded coconut and olive oil instead of butter.
Osso buco is one of my favourite Italian dishes. It simply melts in your mouth but you have to be patient and slow cook it for hours. This one is veal which I believe is better than beef. It was slowed cooked for about 3 hours or so on a stove top with homemade passata and chicken stock. The saffron risotto compliments this dish nicely, it’s expensive but well worth it.
The start of summer means the start of homemade basil pesto. Homemade pesto is a million times better than anything you will buy in the stores and is not very hard. I always make pesto with a mortar and pestle. It allows me to control the consistency and I like being able to see it all come together right in front of your eyes rather than whizzing everything in a blender. This recipe, like many others, is straight Italian Food Safari (Lucio Galletto) and adding potatoes and green beans is a nice variation to traditional basil pesto dishes.
Tiramisu, meaning ‘pick me up’ is one my favourite Italian desserts. When made well, the combination of coffee-soaked savoiardi and sweet mascarpone is unlike anything else and it simply melts in your mouth. The beauty of tiramisu is that it gets better the longer it sits in the fridge, however, you may find it hard to resist after day one.
Frittatas are a healthy option for all meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner. This one has beetroot, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach and feta however you can mix up your ingredients. Simmer the eggs slowly and remember to place under a hot grill to give that golden finish.
Lasagne has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. It was always prepared by my Nonna for Easter and Christmas lunch and in my eyes is her signature dish. Although my cousin has mastered her version, I am still working on it, so this is combination of her recipe and Guy Grossi’s from Italian Food Safari. A good mix.
This pasta dish is a Donna Hay recipe and is super quick and simple. The best part is you cook with spaghetti and the prawns cook whilst the spaghetti cooks so it’s basically ready in about 10 minutes. The worst part is peeling the prawns but hopefully you have somebody to delegate that too. I’ve made this a couple of times and it can be dry if you cook too much spaghetti so have extra olive oil or lemon juice at the ready.
This cake is from an old Maggie Beer cook book I came across. It is super rich and full of chocolate, inside and on top! It uses almond meal with a bit of a flour which could be substituted out to make it gluten free. It’s best to serve this cake the day you make it as I put it in the fridge overnight and it dried out a little unfortunately. Still a great recipe if you like rich, dense chocolate cakes!
Mastering rice without a rice cooker is somewhat difficult. This dish is a combination of Thai & Indonesian Fried Rice as I didn’t have all the ingredients for either. For me, that’s what cooking is all about. Experimenting and taking bits of pieces from various dishes to make your own. You’ll be surprised with what you can create without following a recipe exactly and often it will even be better than what you were meant to make.