Being half Italian, I always thought it was in my blood to be able to make a delicious pasta sauce without too much effort. Turns out I was wrong. It’s especially hard when you’re trying to emulate your Nonna’s delicious pasta sauce for which there is no recipe written down – she would always just say “a little bit of x ingredient, a little bit of y ingredient” etc, etc. I managed to video her once making it so we do have her method documented, but trying to make a pasta sauce as amazing as hers is hard work. My favourite Italian dish is a penne Napolitana – easy, delicious, and done right can really be a simple dish full of the most amazingly rich flavour. Done wrong and it’s too tangy, too watery and leaves a lot to be desired. So once I moved out of home years ago I set about trying to make a deliciously rich pasta sauce, and it took me a good five years or so to get it right.
Now, we don’t make it from scratch with fresh tomatoes, but neither did Nonna in her later years, so I still consider this an authentic Italian recipe – just with the modern convenience of pre-made ingredients! This is the bolognese version with meat, but you can easily leave the meat out for a Napolitana version, or add a heap of diced veggies like eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms for a hearty vegetarian option. This recipe is for a huge vat of sauce, so if you don’t want to make as much, halve the mince meat, tomato paste and pasta sauce amounts.
I didn’t bake much while I was pregnant last year. It’s weird, but I actually lost my baking mojo. I wanted to bake a lot, but every time I did, I messed it up. Even with simple things I’d made before. I just couldn’t get things right, so I gave up in the end. But… Continue reading ->
I don’t make cookies and cakes with nuts in them because my daughter has a nut allergy. But recently I was overtaken by the urge to make a really nice, soft peanut butter cookie. I do have a peanut cookie recipe in my favourite recipe book, but I wanted something super soft and chocolate-y, which… Continue reading ->
Despite all the rain here in Melbourne (seriously, dudes), I’m starting to day dream about warm Summer nights where we can relax outside on the back porch and eat dinner as the sun sets and watch our daughter play in the backyard. Before we moved last year, we only had a very small courtyard space… Continue reading ->
Hey, hi, how are you? I’ve been AWOL, I know. It was unintentional and due to a number of things, mostly because we have been on and off the Winter cold, flu, and tonsillitis merry-go-round since about June. – Every cough and cold around has come home with my daughter, then she got a nasty… Continue reading ->
If you’ve ever been inside an Italian bakery, chances are you’ve seen and maybe even purchased crostoli. Well, let me introduce you to frappe, crostoli’s far, far superior sibling. Growing up with an Italian grandmother meant we were treated to all kinds of delicious savoury Italian meals – pasta and the best damn sauce I’ve… Continue reading ->
We’ve been trying to get out a little bit more now that the dust has settled from our house move last year and we’ve managed to achieve a lot of the things on our house to-do list in the past few months. One of the things I’ve been enjoying doing is visiting cafés I hear… Continue reading ->
I bought a new slow cooker cookbook during the week. Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks are always winners, and this one is a dense tome, with two hundred slow cooker recipes. I was immediately drawn to the lamb section, because there is nothing better than beautifully soft, slow cooked lamb in the Winter months. I was… Continue reading ->
It’s no secret that I love cinnamon. Particularly cinnamon and sugar in some kind of cake or doughnut form. So recently when I saw a recipe in a baking group I’m in I had to save it and give it a try. It’s for a sort of cake, that actually has the texture of something… Continue reading ->
I’m not a big cake person, for a number of reasons. If it’s a sponge cake, it’s the texture that I don’t enjoy. If it’s a black forest cake, it’s all that cream and stuff. If it’s a really dense mud cake, then it’s too rich for me. There are a select few cakes I… Continue reading ->