Saturday, October 28, 2006

Steph's Italian Feast

Steph's Italian Feast
Saturday 28 October, 2006

Don't fall of your chairs (like one of my dinner buddies did when I invited her over for a dinner party at my place). I know, I know......I rarely go all out and cook up a storm but tonight I decided to roadtest some of the Italian recipes I picked up during my travels.

My guinea pigs tonight could not believe they had received an invitation. I am usually invited to their places for dinner (as they are damn good cooks), so I was nervous. But as one rightly pointed out, a night they don't have to cook and have someone else do it for them is a bonus! OK then, it still didn't take the pressure off from trying to impress my fellow foodies - Steph (Meals with Steph), Jen (from SMH Homecook Hero fame) and Gerry (of Italian heritage). What was I thinking!

I spent the morning in Haberfield and the Fish Markets shopping from a list of recipes that I had learnt (which were scribbled down in my journal from the Tuscan and Piedmonte regions). The menu I prepared was:

Entree - Antipasto platter

- Salami
- Prosciutto
- Sicilian olives
- Stuffed peppers with tuna & pesto
- Pesto with Ciabatta bread
- Marinated eggplant
- Fetta
- Marinated artichokes
- Boconchini

First course

- Duck, prosciutto & caramelised onion ravioli

Second course

- Swordfish steaks with lemon
- Tuna & bean salad


- Pannacotta & Pistachio gelato
- Almond biscotti with Nonna Angelo (1995)

After days of trying to source the perfect Italian wine I learnt that Vintage Cellars just up the road could provide me with:

- Asti Spumante - Cora - Sweet Sparkling Wine produced in Costigliole D'Asti
- Maroltti Campi - Albiano - Verdechhio Dei Castelli Di Jesi - 2004
- Portone Valpolicella - Anno 2004
- Illuminati Riparosso - Vintage 2004

I'm pleased to share that the night was a complete success - no one left hungry and it's pretty safe to assume that a few people would have woken up with sore heads the next morning.


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