We went to an Italian Specialty shop on the other side of town on Thursday to buy some hard to get ingredients over our way. Well maybe not but its fun to shop in this predominately Italian community in Brunswick.
My father use to sell smallgoods up and down Sydney Road, Brunswick when I was a kid. Very few of us WASPS ate Italian food back in the 50s and 60s although during the 70s our eating habits were changing.
Mt father is still a meat and three veg man and is not a big fan of pasta or pizza.
In particular the University students would frequent the small Italian cafes in Lygon St, Carlton because they were cheap to eat at - not today. So eventually from those days, we became more adventurous with the influx of immigrants from Italy, Greece, Turkey, the UK and other parts of Europe who wanted to make a new life for themselves.
Sue talked me into the expedition to Mediterranean Wholesalers and while she bought the food, I bought the wine. What a partnership.
|Both Montalcino and Montepulciano are areas of Tuscany we've written about before.|
Love their wines.
We bought one of each on our buying spree.
|But the Montipulciano above should not be confused with the Montipulciano d'Abruzzo. Montipulciano being the grape variety not the area. Abruzzo is a more southern region of Italy.|
We tried one last night - it was a great bottle of red at under AUS$6.
|I will be interested to try this. I haven't seen it before.|
|I always buy dried oregano in bunch, like this, but I hadn't seen dried sage before in bunches. They also had bunches of dried thyme and chillis. The cheese is some parmigianno and pecorino(mentioned later)|
|Pasta, yes just pasta but if Leon could have his way, he would have pasta every night.|
|Italian Arborio rice and some Spanish rice for paella. (I feel paella coming on)|
I first filled the par cooked shells with a beef ragu.
Then a thick tomato sauce with some basil from the garden.
This is delicious. Its a sheep milk pecorino from Sardinia, which I used to make ..
A thick and cheesy sauce to go on the top.
A sprinkling of Parmesan and into the oven.
Twenty minutes later it's ready. It was very nice!
I missed all of this as I had my first come back race since damaging my back six months ago. I'd arrived home to witness that lovely dish of pasta demolished and mine in a dish to whack in the micro wave. There was one glass of Montipulciano dÁbruzzo left in the bottle. Not too bad really for six bucks a bottle. I wish I had bought a dozen now.
I'll post a Saturday Song tomorrow night of an Australian Icon of the pop scene from the late sixties to current times. He's sung with many greats over the years and also been a member of an international renown band during the 80s. He multi-talented and if he wanted, he could have had an international career.
But no! He's home grown and prefers the home life here in Australia (and Melbourne). I think you'll like his boyish charm.