All posts by jon2015


Once again, thanks to for providing us with this recipe.


Serves 2

2 egg yolks

2 tbsps caster sugar

4 tbsps Marsala or dry white wine

1 Put all the ingredients in the top of a double boiler, or in a bowl set over – not in – a pan of gently simmering water. Beat with a balloon whisk or an electric hand mixer until the zabaglione is thick, light and hot. Pour into two tall glasses and serve immediately.

2 Alternatively, if you want to serve it cold, continue beating the mixture off the heat, until it has cooled down completely.

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So not all food has to be steaming hot and since it’s  still summer weather here in Australia, we can do with this recipe :)
  When it gets cold we can still use it except eat when still hot!


 Here’s another recipe for red-blooded beef aficionados.


Read more:

2 x rump steaks (approximately 150g)

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 anchovy fillet

1 level tbsp. chopped parsley

½tsp each dried rosemary and thyme

3 tsps lemon juice

25g butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of ground paprika

150ml water

13g plain flour

100ml red wine

1 tbsp single cream

1 Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Drain and finely chop the anchovy

2 Mix the onion, garlic, anchovy, parsley, rosemary, thyme and lemon juice and rub this mixture into the steaks. Cover and leave to absorb the flavours for 3-4 hours.

3 Melt the butter in a pan and fry the steaks for ten minutes, over a low heat, turning just once. Season with salt and pepper and keep hot in a warm oven.

4 To make the sauce, add the water to the pan and stir, scraping up all the residue. Blend the flour with the wine and add to the sauce, and whisk with a small balloon whisk to get rid of any lumps.

5 Bring the sauce to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes over a low heat. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and paprika and stir in the cream. Serve the steaks with the sauce handed separately.
OK that’s something to get all hot and sweaty about indeed. Best with a friend. And a bottle of red too.


Valentine’s Day Italian style supper recipes
Love and Linguini

Amore et Anti-pasta


Read more:

Italian style Valentine’s supper recipes

By WMNHFinch  |  Posted: February 12, 2016

Create a Roman style Valentine’s supper


Serves 2

150g peeled, cooked, king prawns

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dash of chilli sauce

Pinch of caster sugar

1 tbsp olive oil

1 or 2 shallots

1 clove garlic

1 200gl tin plum tomatoes

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried basil

75ml stock

20g butter

1 tbsp brandy

Chopped parsley for garnish

1 Spread the prawns out in a shallow, non-metallic dish, and sprinkle over the lemon juice, a good grind of pepper and a dash or two of chilli sauce, mix well, cover with clingfilm and set aside for half an hour to allow the flavours to develop.

2 Meanwhile peel and finely chop the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic clove. Then roughly chop up the tinned tomatoes.

3 Heat in a saucepan and sauté off the shallot and garlic until the shallot has softened, stir in the tomatoes and cook, stirring for ten minutes. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, a dash of chilli sauce, pinch of sugar, and the herbs. Stir in the stock and cook for a further ten minutes, then lower the heat as much as possible to keep the sauce hot, but do not allow it to boil.

4 Heat the butter in a frying pan, Wrain the prawns and pat dry with kitchen paper, and fry, stirring all the time until lightly golden all over. Remove from the heat, pour over the brandy and set alight. Once the flames have died down put the prawns into two individual shallow bowls and pour over the tomato sauce. Scatter with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

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More tomorrow – it’s a meat dish. Beef.

Bastianich 7 recipe for Swiss chard and potato crostata

Again from
at tThe LA Times website.

Swiss chard and potato crostata
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, including stems
1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups grated low-moisture mozzarella
1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
Prepared dough
So that’s the ingredients list, now for the actual making of the dish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the leaves from the stems of the chard and cut into 1-inch strips. Cut the stems into 1/2-inch pieces and keep separate. When the water boils, add the stems and boil for 10 minutes, then add the leaves and boil until both are tender, about 15 minutes more. Drain, let cool, then squeeze in your hands until most of the water is out. Chop and set aside.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in another pot with water to cover and simmer until tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 30 minutes. Drain. When they are cool enough to handle, return the potatoes to the pot and mash, adding the cream and olive oil. Add the chopped Swiss chard and mix well. Beat the eggs and salt together and mix into the potato-chard mixture. Fold in the mozzarella and Grana Padano and set aside.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the dough to fit an 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with about 3 inches extra on all sides, trimming if necessary. Butter the pan. Fit the dough onto the sheet pan, with the extra dough hanging off the sides, and spread the filling evenly over the dough. Fold the overlap of the dough over to form a 2-inch crust around the pan over the filling, leaving the center without crust. Bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Only 3 steps get to it – what could go wrong?
just kidding

Scuola Tessieri: a new brand of Italian cooking school

Now this is a great idea. If you just happen to  be in Italy …

Full story at

52 courses for the spring for amateurs and professionals

(FEBRUARY 17, 2016 – 14:05)

Twenty-five minutes from both Florence and Pisa, Scuola Tessieri offers something new on the Italian cooking school scene: a convivial and easy-going culinary experience for food lovers of every level.

Just five minutes from the Ponsacco exit of the Florence-Pisa-Livorno highway, the modern, multifunctional school teaches amateur cooks and professional chefs not only to prepare traditional recipes but also to learn about the history and development of Italian cuisine.

The teaching staff is an impressive lineup, including two-Michelin-starred chefs Valeria Piccini (Caino, Montemerano) and Giuseppe Mancino (Il Piccolo Principe, Viareggio), and pastry chefs Domenico di Clemente (Il Palagio Four Seasons Florence – 1 Michelin star) and Loretta Fanella (formerly El Bulli – 3 Michelin stars), among others. Lessons are personalized and instructors make a concerted effort not to be overly technical or tedious when it comes to details, keeping the atmosphere light and interesting. All lessons end with students and staff eating the food they’ve just prepared.

Fifty-two amateur courses have been introduced from February to June 2016, offering opportunities to learn how to make fresh pasta, vegan dishes, Tuscan soups and much more. Courses are offered in Italian and English.

The setting is as modern Tuscan as the range of courses on offer: open spaces, wooden floors, large windows and metal counters are the distinguishing features of the kitchen teaching areas, while the spectacular bar takes centreplace in its bold blueness.

For a taste of the Scuola, visit on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 pm.

For further information, visit

And do check out the site. Even if your busy schedule doesn’t permit a quick jaunt to Italy, you can still learn something.

The simple art of classic Pasta Carbonara

Once again, thanks to for this recipe.


Keep at it Mike, we’re waiting for more!


Current Issue
Fall 2014 Chow Dining Guide
Drink Bar Guide

Italian Cooking The Way It Should Be

Chef Mike explains the simple art of classic Pasta Carbonara at with more detail.

I assume it must have been some terribly egregious act I committed in a past life that led to me working as a line cook in the culinary equivalent of Dante’s third circle of Hell—a corporate, casual-dining Italian restaurant. Don’t judge me, I was young and needed the money.

This position came complete with Cerberus playing the part of kitchen manager and a layer of “vile slush” that seeped from between kitchen floor tiles to continually remind me of the personal degradation being visited upon me because of my previous indulgences in food, drink, and worldly pleasures.

That kitchen was a bordello of Italian culinary lies. Knorr white sauce mix in the Alfredo sauce, rebottled Wishbone Italian dressing on the salads, and Kern’s breadsticks slathered in butter-flavored oil were just a few of the “Italiano” atrocities I witnessed being foisted on unsuspecting customers.

Nothing, however, could compare to the damage done to my own culinary development by the plateful of prevarication they called pasta carbonara.

The corporate chefs responsible for the “authentico” recipes I had been carefully trained to reproduce decided that a plate of pasta swimming in bland cream sauce with a smattering of bacon, mushrooms and peas could be labeled “pasta carbonara”—blatantly disrespecting all that is good and true about this rich, but simple dish.

Pasta carbonara is supposed to be a very simple, old-school Roman dish made from five simple ingredients: egg yolk, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale (cured pork jowl), black pepper, and pasta.

That’s it. No peas, no mushrooms and most importantly no cream.

Maybe you like cream in your pasta. Hell, I love cream sauces too and besciamella or béchamel sauce is an integral part of Italian cooking, but that doesn’t mean cream goes in carbonara any more than my love of marinara sauce makes it a proper topping for brownies.

Cream was added to carbonara recipes primarily to combat the jaw-quivering richness that you get when using only egg yolks, as well as an easy way to attain the dish’s creaminess without the challenges of the traditional recipe.

Some mistakenly believe that carbonara is difficult to make sans-cream without ending up with scrambled eggs. But all it takes to form a thick, silky coating on the pasta without scrambling the eggs is a little patience and a metal bowl to use like a double boiler.

Carbonara just wouldn’t be carbonara without cured pork. The traditional recipe calls for guanciale, or cured pork jowl, but if you can’t round up guanciale at Main Street Meats or your favorite SoDo SoPa supermarket, pancetta (cured but not smoked pork belly) is a solid Plan B with good old ‘Merican bacon filling, should the other meats not be able to fulfill their carbonara duties.

Due, in part, to the heroic efforts of patient chefs I encountered later in life, I have broken my own misguided bonds between cream and pasta carbonara. Try my recipe below and break free from the cream. Viva i tuorli!


Recipe coming in the next Post – tomorrow.

Creamy Dairy-Free Baked Risotto with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Part 2

This is a follow-on to the previous post and include’s Alisa’s story about the dish

I struggled for years with risotto – not the dairy-free part, just the technique. It has been especially tricky with our stove as the elements seem to swing wildly between off and boiling hot regardless of the temperature setting. But then I discovered baked risotto. This magical dish comes together so easily, all in one pot, and cooks in the oven, no stirring required! Yes, it comes out wonderfully creamy and my version is even dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free.

Creamy Dairy-Free Baked Risotto with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (the recipe is so easy, gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and AMAZING!)

Of course, we loved this dairy-free baked risotto so much that I decided to make it a meal with my new favorite flavor add in, al fresco all natural Chicken Sausage. We most recently tried the Sweet Italian Fully Cooked Dinner Sausage and I couldn’t believe the flavor. This is the type of lean, nutritious topping that can make a healthy che

ese-free pizza taste beyond delicious! But I knew you didn’t want to see another cheeseless pizza, so instead I used this …

Al Fresco Sweet Italian-Style Chicken Sausage - fully-cooked, amazing flavor, gluten-free & dairy-free

… to make a show-stopping, creamy, lightly cheesy (yes, seriously!) Italian-style dairy-free baked risotto. Trust me, this is one you are going to want to trial. And to answer your questions:

Can you taste the coconut? No, honestly if you weren’t preparing it, you most likely wouldn’t believe there was any coconut milk used. It bakes in with all of the delicious savory flavors and actually adds a light complimentary sweetness to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s also key for the creaminess (remember, full-fat real coconut milk, not watery coconut milk beverage!).

Must I use nutritional yeast? You can omit it, but trust me, it’s better with it and it’s possible that the lemon will be a touch strong without it. Nutritional yeast adds a pleasant, luxurious hint of cheesiness without overpowering. Because you get quite a bit in a package, this stuff is actually a relatively cheap seasoning and shelf-stable, too. I’d invest in some unless you have to avoid it.

Can I reduce the fat? The al fresco Chicken Sausage is already quite lean (just 7 grams of fat per link and a whopping 14 grams of protein!), so no need to make any swaps there. You can just lightly heat the dinner sausage in cooking spray (it’s already fully cooked), if preferred, I just find the results are a bit better with the oil, and the rice benefits from a light coating of oil. In terms of the coconut milk (which contains most of the fat), I do not recommend swapping it for milk beverage. Regular, full-fat coconut milk (in cans or mini aseptic packages) is what gives it the creamy finish. I’m already using the minimum for our personal cravings, but if you absolutely must, you can reduce the coconut milk by up to 1/2 cup. You will need to increase the broth / stock by about 1/4 cup, possibly more. This does require some testing in your own oven. It’s best to start with less as you can check-in at around 30 minutes and add a little more if needed.
Special Diet Notes: Creamy Italian-Style Baked Risotto
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and generally top food allergy-friendly.

Food allergy friendly sounds ideal if you’re having people over for tea and you don’t know their needs.

Thanks again to Alisa Fleming at


Creamy Dairy-Free Baked Risotto with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Part 1

Creamy Dairy-Free Baked Risotto with Italian Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Thanks to author Alisa Fleming at for this delight.

Alisa wrtote Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
36 mins
Total time
46 mins

I opt to simply provide the two peppers at the table as Tony prefers his dairy-free and gluten-free baked risotto with a few twists of black pepper and I like mine with several shakes of crushed red pepper.

Serves: 3 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces (2 links) al fresco Sweet Italian Style Chicken Sausage (fully-cooked), sliced ¼-inch thick and optionally cut into half moons
1 cup Arborio rice
1¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup full fat coconut milk (NOT milk beverage!)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt, divided
⅛ teaspoon onion powder
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or basil, sliced (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Heat the oil in an oven-safe pot (9 to 10 inches wide works well) over medium heat. Add the Al Fresco dinner sausage and saute for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
Add the rice to the pot and saute for 1 minute, to coat it with oil and lightly toast. Add the chicken broth / stock and deglaze the pan. Add the coconut milk, sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the onion powder, and stir to combine.
Cover and bake for 35 minutes.
Immediately uncover (there will be some liquid at top) and stir in the cooked sausage, fresh oregano or basil, if using, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt (or salt to taste).
Serve with freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper for everyone to add, to taste.
Garlic Fan? If you can’t imagine an Italian meal without it, saute 1 to 2 crushed or minced garlic cloves with the rice, just before adding the stock. You also might like the Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage in this dairy-free baked risotto.


Now that sounds yummy indeed. Next Post I’ll put in more detail.