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.
I love cooking risotto because there are so many variations. This mix includes button, swiss and porcini mushrooms. Take your time with risotto, the slower it simmers, the better it tastes. Place your dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water to bring them back to life and use the liquid to cook the risotto along with your stock. Be careful with how much porcini liquid you use as it be quite over powering.
Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh parsley to serve.
Osso buco is one of my favourite slow cooked dishes. This time I used veal shanks instead of beef. This is slow cooked in diced tomaotes and chicken stock for about 2 hours. The base of the sauce is onion, garlic, anchovies, celery, carrots and white wine. The longer you simmer the dish the better it will be. Don’t be impatient.
Served with mash potatoes, garnished with chives.
This dish combines 3 of my favourites… pasta, chicken and basil pesto (homemade of course). There is something therapeutic about making pesto in a mortar & pestle. It takes longer than a blender but you have better control over the outcome. Cook the pasta till al dente, add the warm chicken then coat with plenty of pesto and top with parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. I love parmesan cheese so find myself always going back for extra toppings mid-way through!
This is a classic Italian dish and the best thing about it is the variations you can do. Tonight I used fresh tomatoes and fried mushrooms. Mix it up by warming the tomatoes or frying sliced eggplants for eggplant bruschetta. Traditionally prepare bruschetta on ciabatta bread however this time I used a soy & linseed sourdough, another variation.
For a tip, rub garlic straight onto the toast rather than including it with the toppings. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with parsley when ready to serve. Delicious.
In 2013 my new years resolution was to cook a new Italian dish every week. The only requirement was that it had to be something I had not cooked before and had to be from an Italian cookbook or Italian cooking blog. This Easter I prepared some of my favourite Italian dishes for my close friends. Pleasure to share great food with great wine and great people!
Home cooked Italian from my Nonna’s recipes to Italian-Australian and Italian cooks. Can’t go wrong.
My recipes come from many Italian cookbooks, blogs and of course my Nonna. I put my own spin on them depending on what ingredients are available… hence no dish ever being the same. If you would like one, just leave a comment or ask and I will be happy to share them with you.
Nothing will ever beat my Nonna’s homemade meatballs. Over the years, I must have eaten 1000s of these but never got tired of them. I can’t re-create them exactly but I am getting closer each time.