Grape vine leaves add a subtle flavour to dishes that are cooked on them – even wood-fired BBQs using grape vine “wood” adds a subtle taste and aroma to foods cooked over that fire.
It is a wonder that we don’t use vine leaves more for baking foods. As well as the flavour, the leaves themselves can be eaten if you have baked in a low heat (otherwise, they go a little crispy).
Elizabeth David in her beautiful book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, gives a recipe for baking mushrooms with vine leaves. She first saw the recipe in Edmond Ridhardin’s 1913 book L’Art du Bien Manger. It is as good today as it was a century ago.
Similar recipes include Grilled Mushroom Salad, French Slow Cooked Mushrooms, and Shiitake Mushroom Sauce.
You might like to explore other Elizabeth David recipes, or browse Mushroom recipes. This dish could also be cooked in a covered BBQ – have a look at other BBQ dishes also. Or simply scroll through all of our Mid Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Mushrooms Baked in Grape Vine Leaves”
Yay for simple pasta dishes. We have a few recipes for such dishes, and most of them feature tomatoes in some form. Tomatoes are so easy to chop and add to pasta with some olive oil, garlic and basil. A bit of parmesan. And a tasty dish is born.
While the base ingredients are almost the same in the simple dishes, the way they are treated will vary, and that changes the dish. This recipe uses those base ingredients but they are chopped finely to make a sort of uncooked sauce. It is mixed with ricotta and left for an hour for the flavours to develop. Easy. Good.
This dish goes well with any pasta, really. Use short ones, curly ones or long strands. Spaghetti and bucatini are particularly good, and I love it with Penne. It is best made in Summer, or early Autumn, when our Australian tomatoes are at their best.
Are you looking for other Pasta dishes? Try Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, and Pasta with Chilli and Olive Oil.
And why not make your own Pasta? How to Make Eggless Pasta.
You can browse all of our Pasta dishes, our many Tomato dishes, and all of our Italian recipes. Or simply browse our Early Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Pasta alla Crudaiola | Pasta with a Raw Tomato Sauce”
Celebrate Spring with Broad Beans
This has been the year of the Broad Bean in our household. A rarely used vegetable before last year, it is again a focus for us this Spring – we found that we actually love Broad Beans. Our local Italian green grocery near our new house has large amounts of them – something that our inner-city grocery did not carry, even during Spring – so it is easy for us to celebrate this humble bean.
When you buy broad beans, young and fresh is best – they have a sheen on the pod, and will be bright green, crisp to the touch and without any black marks or blemishes. Pods are usually about 10cm long.
This pasta dish celebrates all that is Spring. Fresh and herby, it is a delight. We have used broad beans here, but it could easily use asparagus, peas or the last of the globe artichokes of the season. Or use them all together!
Remember to double-peel broad beans. Remove them from the pod, then scald them for around 30 – 60 seconds. Place in cold water then drain. With a sharp small knife make a nick in the top or side of each bean and slip it out of its skin.
Are you after other Pasta recipes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. And try Rice and Orzo Pasta, Hand Made Pesto, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce.
Are you after other Broad Bean dishes? Try Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Tawa Broad Beans, Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.
Check out our other Broad Bean recipes, and other Pasta recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint”
There is a beautiful Tuscan Spring time tradition of serving Broad Beans with a fresh pecorino cheese. The cheese is sliced and served with the beans. If the beans are young, the guests get to pod their own as they eat them. There is a saltiness in the fresh pecorino that matches the sweetness of the broad beans. And the crispy texture of the beans with the melting softness of the pecorino is divine.
Similar recipes include Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Tomato and Broad Bean Salad, Panfried Broad Beans with Chilli, Lime and Salt, Broad Beans with Crispy Garlic, and Tawa Broad Beans.
Have a look at the other Broad Bean recipes. Our Snacks are here. Or explore our collection of Late Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Broad Beans with Fresh Pecorino Cheese”
Get your Italian Risotto Mojo on with some loud opera music and a good wine
Italian food is just wonderful! Today is another Great Risotto Dish. Risotto is always a meditation in cooking. A quiet kitchen, a wooden spoon, some rice and a large pot.
From years ago, when I was first making risotto, and still today, I amazed friends who pop in unexpectedly. I pick tomatoes, salad greens, chilli and rosemary from the garden, pull some stock and tomato paste from the freezer, and cook this risotto in approx. 30 minutes. I serve it with a garden salad and fresh fruit for dessert. They are always pretty impressed!
If you haven’t cooked risotto before, here are some basics.
Similar recipes include Risotto with Mushrooms, Asparagus Risotto with Basil, and Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto.
You might also like our Risotto recipes, and our Rice recipes. Our Italian dishes are here. Check out our easy Early Spring recipes too.
This is a vegetarian recipe from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse other recipes from this blog in our Retro Recipes series. Continue reading “Tomato Risotto”
Late Winter comes and we begin to look forward to Spring. However the weather gods have other ideas, plunging us into the coldest weather of the winter, stormy and wet, and very very cold.
We really did fall in love with dried broad beans this year. After a hiccup at the beginning – we really didn’t know a lot about how to handle these large beauties – we have settled into a routine of using them every couple of weeks. Totally delicious.
The smaller, peeled dried fava beans are easier to use, but if you can’t find them, use the larger (gigantic) unpeeled ones. The peeled dried broad beans are quite small, whereas the unpeeled ones are large beans. Soak the large ones overnight, then pop them out of their peels before cooking. If they don’t come out of the skins easily, try soaking them in boiling water for 20 – 30 mins. They should come off easily then. I like to peel them in front of the TV the night before I am using them. It makes this meditative task very easy.
This recipe doesn’t saute the onions and celery, but rather pops them into the pot with the beans and the stock. In Greece it is believed that sauteing them before hand makes the dish heavier, and if you think about it, it is an excellent observation. I like to keep this soup lighter, but by all means saute off the aromatics beforehand if you wish.
Similar recipes include Fava Bean Soup with Turmeric and Herbs, and Fava Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs.
Or browse all of our Broad Bean recipes and all of our Italian dishes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our Mid Winter collection of dishes.
Continue reading “Dried Fava Bean Soup | Dried Broad Bean Soup with Potatoes”
Cabbage and Carbs always go well together, right? And this dish of cabbage with pasta is divine. It is a great cold weather dish, and perfectly good for any time of the year as a Sunday Supper. It is a rustic dish, but don’t let that dissuade you.
Sometimes I cook this dish and the family aren’t home yet, and I pick at it in the kitchen until there is a definite hole in the side. It is so delicious with the nutty, slightly stretchy Emmental cheese. So easy to make just 3 ingredients – I cook the pasta and use the pasta water to blanch the cabbage. A few minutes assembly and into the oven it goes for about 20 mins – faster if you have a good fan forced oven. Take it bubbling to the table – your family will be begging for it again and again.
Truly, this dish almost needs a wood fire and a large glass of red. Eat on its own, with salads, or as an accompaniment to other dishes. Left overs are good fried up for breakfast! You could almost say that this comfort dish is NOT a Sydney dish. It is built for Melbourne and Adelaide, and all year round in Tassie. 🙂
Similar dishes include Potatoes and Cheddar Gratin, Baked Eggplant Steaks, and Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini.
Are you looking for Pasta dishes? First, check out our home made eggless pasta. Then try Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Pasta Sauce with Aubergine, Red Pepper and Tomato, and Light Pasta Salad.
Or are you looking for Cabbage Recipes? Try Malaysian Lemak Style Vegetables, Nappa Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing, and Cabbage Thoran.
You might also like to browse all of our Cabbage recipes. All of our Pasta dishes are here. Or browse Baked recipes. Take some time to check out our easy Mid-Winter recipes.
Also browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.
Continue reading “Pasta Bake with Cabbage and Cheese”
Barley is beautiful, especially in Salads
I am in love with barley at the moment – a great wintery grain that also, strangely, has some cooling properties when used in the warmer months. Not only does it do well in soups, pilafs and vegetable stews, it is an accommodating base for salads.
Ilyse, the amazing artist from the no-longer-existing blog Lucullian Delights, had a wonderful barley and tofu salad for any season. I tweeked it just a little, and it is a perfect salad for summer or for winter.
Do also try Black Pepper Tofu, an exquisite dish from Ottolenghi. Or make Toa Hou Hod, Deep Fried Tofu with a Sweet Peanut Sauce, a Thai dish full of flavour.
Are you looking for other Barley recipes? Try Barley Pilaf, and Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley. This Parsley and Barley Salad is pretty good too.
You might like to browse other Barley recipes here. Our extensive list of wonderful Salads are here. You might like to see all of our Tofu recipes also. Or simply explore our easy Late Summer Recipes.
Continue reading “Mediterranean Barley with Crispy Tofu”
Leftover eggplant in the fridge? Don’t quite know what to do with it? No matter what you are serving tonight, this Italian dish from Bugialli will blend. In no time at all you will be enjoying the wonderful soft texture of well cooked eggplant contrasted with the crunch of breadcrumbs. It makes a great starter with a green leaf or two, it can accompany any other dish for a a multi dish meal, or it can take centre place with a salad and chickpeas.
Eggplant will soak up whatever you soak it in. This recipe utilises this property well by marinating the eggplant before baking. Yummy! This is so good, I do hope that you try it.
Are you looking for other Eggplant dishes? Try Eggplants in a Creamy Peanut Gravy, Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, Eggplant and Zucchini with a Chickpea and Harissa Sauce, and Eggplant, Sultanas and Pinenuts.
All of our Eggplant recipes can be browsed here, and have a look at other Bugialli recipes. Or explore our wonderful collection of Late Autumn dishes.
Also, feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog in existence from 1995 – 2006, in our Retro Recipes series.
Continue reading “Bistecche di Melanzane | Eggplant Steaks”
Simple is great, yes? Less is more. In this pasta dish, as with many others, it is the simplicity that shines and makes for a spectacular dish.
I have made it here with some home made eggless pasta that combines flour, semolina flour and chickpea flour and uses ground sesame seeds as a binding agent. It is pretty good, but of course this recipe can be made with any fettuccine or spaghetti.
Are you looking for Pasta dishes? Try Beautiful Buttered Orzo, Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto, Simple Pasta with Chilli and Olive Oil, and Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce. Don’t forget that home made eggless pasta.
Or perhaps you are after Italian fare? Try Risotto with Mushrooms, White Bean Soup and Grilled Fennel with Mozzarella.
You can browse all of our pasta dishes here, and all of our Italian recipes here. Or simply take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.
Continue reading “Fettuccine con Cacio e Pepe | Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper”
Turning zucchini into glorious pickles
Fussy to make, these pickles are rather gorgeous and a great way to use the gigantic zucchini that you can’t avoid in your vegetable garden patch.
Are you looking for other Zucchini Recipes? Try a Gratin of Potatoes and Zucchini with Thyme, a delicious Indian Zucchini Fry, and Zucchini Rice.
Or perhaps you would like some Pickle suggestions. Try Pickled Okra, Pickled Jicama and Pickled Ginger.
You might like to browse all Pickles, and all Zucchini recipes. Explore our Autumn preserving recipes too. Or take some time to explore our Early Autumn recipes.
Continue reading “Zucchini Sott’Olio | Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Mint, Chilli and Garlic”
This is a most beautiful risotto with the creaminess of mushrooms combined with the creaminess of a risotto. Mushroom Risotto is a perfect winter-time dish, a cold evening dish, a heater-on-high dish. It is a comfort dish, for when you need a little more love and support in your life. Really, it is divine. Who doesn’t like risotto?
While I specify button and oyster mushrooms, you can make this with any mix of mushrooms. Cut them to size accordingly.
Do be careful about the rice that you use for risotto. You will get the best results using a risotto rice. You can read more about that here. My favourite at the moment, and the one that I used for this dish, is Carnaroli.
If you are new to making risotto, read How to Make Risotto.
Try some other Risottos too – Tomato Risotto, Beetroot Risotto, Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto and Asparagus Risotto are some of our favourites.
Are you looking for Mushroom recipes? Try Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s Slow Cooked Creamy Mushrooms, Mushrooms Baked in Vine Leaves, French Mushrooms and Tomatoes, Adzuki Beans with Shiitake Mushrooms, and Mushroom and Carrot Salad with Mung Sprouts.
Check out all of our Risotto recipes, and also all of our Italian recipes. All of our Mushroom recipes are here. You might like to browse our easy Late Summer recipes here.
Continue reading “Risotto with Mushrooms”
Zucchini takes extremely well to marination, particularly with Mediterranean flavours such as garlic, olive oil, oregano. Mix them up and leave for 30 mins – 1 hour, then serve. You can mix them with Bocconcini, for example, or, like this recipe, with some beautiful tomatoes. Fresh, young zucchini has the most glorious texture.
I have used small cherry tomatoes here, but use any tomatoes you have – halving or slicing them depending on the size. I like to mix green, semi ripe and ripe tomatoes as it gives variation in flavours, but this is probably only possible if you or your best friend grow your own tomatoes. Green tomatoes are difficult to find these days, yet I love them.
Throw in a small zucchini flower or two if you have them.
Are you looking for other Tomato Salads? Try Artichoke Hearts with Tomatoes Salad, My Mother’s Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dressing, and the very red Tomato and Pomegranate Salad.
Or are Zucchini dishes your preference? Try Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Mint, Chilli and Garlic, Zucchini Rice, Zucchini Fry, and Poached with Other Vegetables in Wine.
All of our Salads are here for you to browse. Or just our Tomato Salads. All Tomato Recipes can be seen here. Browse our Zucchini Recipes or trawl through our Late Summer collection of dishes.
Continue reading “Salad of Marinated Zucchini and Tomatoes”
Another beautifully coloured salad for Autumn, beautiful reds of the roasted capsicums. Here we toss them with white beans, fresh mozzarella and a little shallot.
Don’t you just love roasted peppers? While you are roasting them for this salad, add another 1 or 2 or 12, so that you can used them throughout the week. I find it easiest to roast peppers and eggplants on my covered BBQ, but you can also do it over a gas flame on your stove, under a grill or in the oven.
Would you like to try other Red Pepper/ Capsicum Salads? Try Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Peperoni in Padella – Roasted Red Peppers Salad, and Sweet Red Pepper Salads. There is a Roast Pepper Relish too.
Or try other Capsicum Dishes – Green Peppers in Yoghurt, Pumpkin Soup with Red Peppers, and Stuffed Capsicums with Kidney Beans and Feta. Also see How to Dry Red Capsicums.
And please try our Tapenade Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella.
Otherwise, have a look at all of our Capsicum Salads and all of our Salads. You can explore other Capsicum recipes too. Or browse our Early Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Roasted Red Pepper Salad with Mozzarella and White Beans | Roasted Red Capsicum Salad”
Using up the amount of zucchini from our garden takes some creativity. But having made Parsley Pesto, the thought of pasta, pesto and char grilled zucchini had me grilling tiny zucchini slices early one morning. A pasta lunch was in the making.
Its very easy, and any pasta can be used – spaghetti is great, but I chose to use pasta from the local Adelaide makers L’Abruzzese. I love this olive leaf pasta, tasty and slightly chewy, it has 3 colours – spinach, beetroot and regular.
If you are looking for more pasta recipes try Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Fettuccine with Cheese and Pepper, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, Pasta with Tomato and Salted Ricotta, and Elegant Orzo Pasta with Wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts. And check out our home made eggless pasta.
You might also like to read Why we Cook Pasta al dente.
Or perhaps some zucchini recipes – try Zucchini Rice, Zucchini Fry, and Poached with Other Vegetables in Wine.
Our pesto recipes include this Parsley Pesto as well as Asparagus Pesto, Coriander Pesto, and a mix and match approach.
Or browse all of our Zucchini Recipes, all of our Pasta Dishes, all of the Pesto recipes. Our Italian Recipes are here, or simply browse our Late Summer dishes.
Continue reading “Pasta with Zucchini and Parsley Pesto”