eating Italian style

I’m the first one to admit that I don’t utilise Sydney enough for everything it has to offer. It’s a big city, with a lot of things going on at any given time, and sometimes I just need to say, oh, yes please, lets go. I didn’t need any words of encouragement to get to this one though. I had been flicking through the Crave Sydney Food Festival  guide and one thing jumped out at me… Haberfield food festival. Item circled, multiple arrows drawn pointing to it and Mr Chocolate told he was to cancel anything else going on for that day, as we were going.

Ok, he said. Thankfully he didn’t need any encouraging words to get him there either. Promises of Italian food tasting plates and pasticceria goodies was all that was needed.

Haberfield is in Sydney’s  inner west and an as authentic Italian experience as you are going to get outside of the mother land itself. Leichhardt? (It’s flashy Italian cousin suburb next door) Pffft… Give me Haberfield any day.

So with a large bag to fill, dollars in my pocket and a tummy keen to try everything on offer we set forth.

 The Monkeys were keen to try these ones. Gingerbread as big as your…

 Well as big as a small persons head. Eaten and finished on the spot.

 My new favourite butcher. A lot of butcher’s have an annoying habit of stating they carry free-range pork products, but on further questioning, don’t know where the meat is from or are using a ‘free-range’ company with (in my mind) dubious free range-ness. So our family just does without unless I’m buying from a company I know and trust. (Piggy options for a city girl post here.) I was very happy to hear that this wasn’t the case at Gojak’s. Using a company I was already familiar with brings a little sigh of relief… Ahhh, and piggy purchases then  tucked away in my bottomless bag.

 Back to the tasting, and there was some mozzarella, wrapped in prosciutto, drizzled with truffle oil. (Half consumed, before I remembered a picture.)

 Buffalo mozzarella.

 Eggplant Involtini. Melt in your mouth that one was. Stuffed with tomato, breadcrumbs, and parmesan.

 One panino, two panino, three panino, four? Well actually there was seven panini eaten between the four of us. What can I say, they were delicious.

Cannoli. Now for reference reasons I needed to buy these ones. They were taken home to be eaten later, but hands down so much better than my ones were. Note to self, need to keep practising…

Also bought and not shown was…

* The most delicious biscuits I’ve tasted in….years! I can’t work out what was in them to try and replicate them, so will have to make a return trip for further investigations. It’s tough, but someone has to do it. I’m thinking almondy something or other. It’s a little Ameretto, and a little marzipan in taste.

* One recharging espresso for Mr Chocolate, (who also sometimes goes by the name of Mr Coffee.)

* One double sausage and onion roll, inhaled by Mr C and two ravenous Monkeys.

* Rosetta rolls for later.

* Chilli and Rocket Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Bocconcini from Paesanella for later.

I could have kept going, but for the sake of my now quite full stomach and empty wallet, we left it at that. Vowing to return another day, (and hopefully next weekend if I have anything to do with it.)

Making your own Ravioli

I have a new toy…

A lovely new ravioli cutter.

Ravioli I love, but the frozen bought stuff hurts. My belly is never happy after I eat it, so I stopped years and years ago. It wasn’t worth the pain, and the taste was always such a disappointment. The kind of dinner that seemed like a good idea at the time, and then nothing but sore tummy and oh whose idea was this anyway?

After finding this new little toy and making our own though, oh happy belly… It’s light, it’s tasty, and it screams eat me now and perhaps a little glass of red on the side.

Pasta

550 gms Fine semolina flour

300 mls water (approx)

Knead dough until a lovely elastic consistency. It should be a smooth ball of dough.

Next, cut off small portions, and feed into the pasta machine. Flatten and thining out, (we went to level 4).

Ravioli Mixture

1 red capsicum (pepper) finely diced

1 small block of fetta crumbled

Lightly cook the capsicum in a little olive oil, just for a few minutes until soft. Add the fetta, mix well.

Placing one long strip on the bottom and then dropping small spoonfuls of mixture evenly spaced between. Another long strip of pasta over the top and with my new cutting toy… hey presto!

Serve with a simple sauce. Olive oil, garlic, canned tomatoes, ripped up fresh basil, a little salt and serve with grated parmesan.

As I have said with my other hand made pasta dishes, (orechiette and pici) keep the sauce simple. All the taste and love is in the pasta you have made. Don’t complicate it, and let the sauce be the accompaniment to the love you can taste in the pasta.

* If you don’t have a pasta machine, the same results can easily be done with a simple rolling pin…and if no rolling pin, a glass bottle will do the trick as well.