Cannelloni with braised meat

This dish was inspired by an Italian cooking show, Made in Italy, I came across the other day.

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The photo doesn’t really show the dish however behind the crusted layer of sauce are rows of homemade cannelloni filled with mozzarella and veal mince. Making the pasta from scratch is time consuming but well worth the time. Practice makes perfect. Putting the cannelloni together was a lot harder than on the show! (funny that). Anyway, still delicious, and I am still amazed at how only a few simple ingredients make such incredible meals.

Veal osso buco

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.

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Served with mash potatoes, garnished with chives.

Bruschetta

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.

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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.

Lamb shanks

I have a lot of favourite dishes but for slow cooking this has to be one of the best.IMG_2764

Behind the tomatoes, onion and celery you can see the shanks. They have been slow-cooked for over 3 hours in red wine, chicken stock and diced tomatoes (in an oven as I don’t own a slow-cooker). You only need a few ingredients¬†to make this dish work as the slow-cooking does the hard work¬†for you. Once ready, the meat will literally fall off the bone… definitely worth the wait. Serve with mash potato or polenta if you are adventurous, and of course red wine.

Homemade Passata

Homemade passata is an annual Italian tradition that I’ve only learn recently and one that I am keen to continue. Today we started with 150 kilo of tomatoes, 10 kilos of capsicum and ended up with about 120 bottles. We had a great batch of tomatoes. Tomato day is an opportunity to catch up with family and close friends and create something that can be enjoyed for the next 12 months before you do it all again. Finish the day with the freshest pasta sauce and a nice glass of red!

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