sabato 14 febbraio 2009

Sam's Hens Party!!!!

It was such a nice party! Sam was great and was able to"cope" with all the challenges we had for her!!!!

The Menù was a simple but tasty one:


Homemade tomato and garlic bruschette! Delicious!!!

The waiter, as you can see, was really very helpfull... and ...

First course:

Hand made tagliatelle with mushrooms and cream sauce!!! Really fantastic!
The teams: Limoncello and Bellissima had to ... make their own tagliatelle... and create a composition with them...

Incredible team work!!!!

Sam..., as The Perfect Wife, had to show us her ability in making her own tagliatelle ... by hand (No Machine aloud!!!)... of course she needed to show us all... how she will make "him" happy!!!

She was fantastic!!!

This was her composition:

These the other teams:

Second course:
Rolli polli skewers (small chicken and pancetta skewers)
And as desert we had... Tiramisù ... my way... and of course a composition!

Thank you girls! It was a great party!!!!!

domenica 31 agosto 2008


Finally the sun smiled at us! The weather was really at our side! We really enjoyed the new sun after days and days of rain!!! And, lucky us, at the Festival Italiano! So we could all have a turn to learn how to make fresh pasta!

I would like to thank you all of you , who dared to come and try to make the fresh pasta... who put our aprons and shared with us the pleasure of home made pasta!!!

giovedì 10 luglio 2008

Italian Cooking Class - Highbury House - 2nd of July

Dessert dessert dessert.... how could I live without?
I decided that we could dare to try the recipe of the cantuccini ... and of the chocolate and pears tart... everything was really nice!!! What a great flavour!

Cantuccini toscani

400gr flour
125gr Butter at room temperature
180 gr Sugar
3 Eggs
100 gr Almonds (crushed)
1 Teaspoon orange flavor or the peel of a whole organic orange
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk to spread on top of cantuccini


Preheat the oven at 180°
• Mix well, with a fork, all the ingredients beside the almonds in a large bowl.
• When the ingredients are well blended add the crushed almonds.
The dough should be like a ball.
• Put the dough on a lightly buttered oven tray.
Press down gently with the palm of your hand to flatten it.
Using a brush spread some egg yolk on top of it.
• Bake for 30 minutes at 180°.



Chocolate and pears tart

For the tart dough:
500gr white plain flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
100gr sugar
100gr butter
a pinch of salt

For the top:
3 or 4 pears
100gr butter
250gr dark chocolate
50gr sugar
a bit of milk if necessary

• Prepare the flour. Mix the eggs and egg yolk together with the flour. Add the sugar, the butter and the salt. Knead them till you get a good homogenous dough. Wrap it in plastic paper and put it in the fridge for minimum 30 min. In the meanwhile you can prepare the pears.


• Peel the pears. Cut them in thin slices. Put the pears in a pan and add the sugar and the cinnamon. Cook them till they are very very soft! Add the chocolate and let it melt. When the chocolate is melted add the softened sweet pears

• At this stage take the pastry dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a buttered pan. The pastry can also become overheated or overworked at this stage, which means it will tend either to break up or to stick. If this happens, you can solve the problem by adding a few tablespoons of cold water or half an egg white to the dough. If the pastry tears while you’re rolling it out, you can easily patch up the tears once it is in the tart pan and they won't be noticeable when the tart has been filled and baked). Make some holes with a fork before putting the tart in the oven.

• Let it cook for about 30/40 min. at 180°.


domenica 29 giugno 2008

Italian Cooking Class
Highbury House - 110 Hinemoa Street
Birkenhead - North Shore City
25th of June

This time ... fresh pasta! How nice! We had our hands in the flour again and couldn't stop enjoying the kneading... (I hope...). Sage and butter for the pumpking and spinach ravioli and homemade tomatosauce for the tagliatelle! Mamma mia! Buonissimi!


freshpasta (12)

Ravioli and Tagliatelle dough

100gr of flour
1 egg

1. To prepare the mixture by hand, place the flour on a clean bowl and make a well in the centre.
2. Break the eggs into the well and using a fork, beat the eggs in to the well, gently drawing in flour from the sides. Continue dragging flour into the centre well, stirring the ingredients together until the dough begins to form a homogeneous mass.

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3. Begin kneading the pasta, first sprinkling the surface with flour - IMPORTANT: If the pasta is too dry or crumbly, spray with a little lukewarm water - When the right texture has been reached, form a ball and leave to rest under .

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4. You can add colour to the dough by adding a little bit of tomato paste, spinach juice (for green), carrot juice for orange/yellow or squid ink for purple/black!

Pumpkin filling

Boil or roast the pumpkin till it is so soft you can work it with a spoon, add a bit of salt and of parmesan.

Spinach Filling

Boil the spinach, drain them and blend them. Add a bit of salt and of parmesan.

Sauce butter and sage

About 30gr of butter (per person)
fresh sage (possibly…)

Melt the butter in a pan at low heat and add the sage. Serve.

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Homemade Tomato sauce

1 tin of crushed tomatoes
1 diced carrot (not compulsory)
1 clove of garlic diceddiced
extra virgin olive oil
oregano or a bay leaf (not compulsory)

In a pan add the olive oil, the onion and the garlic. Sauté the onion. When gold and soft add the tomatoes, the salt and the oregano or bay leaf. Let it cook for at least 10 minutes on a medium heat.

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mercoledì 18 giugno 2008

Pears in red wine with mascarpone or cream

Last evening of the course at the Northcote College... last but not least. We prepared great desserts. Great taste and loads of fun! This class was really nice and funny! They didn't know each other before, but it was incredible to see how they could cooperate well and most of all I am sure they enjoyed their time cooking all together!!!


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domenica 15 giugno 2008

Italian Cooking Class
Highbury House
110 Hinemoa Street
Birkenhead - North Shore City
Dates 11th of June - 25th of June - 2nd of July

11th of June 2008

What a familiar atmosphere! It was like spending some time with friends cooking something tasty.
And actually this is how I would like this Marina's Kitchen Space to be!
I would like to prepare tasty food for few people... we would speak about Italy and its food... traditions and breaking the traditions...
I would show you the technic and you spread your creativity...
I could be an aunty who just came along to show you something she learned from her family...

Sincerely said this is how I try to imagine this Marina's Kitchen Space...

A space for the family...

So, we were five people in that wonderful place that is the Highbury House! A place for families.
You could bring your little ones along and leave them at the crechè...while you enjoy cooking class!
Then you go home with them and your magnificent food!

So ... we put our aprons on and... started!!!!

So it was the first date of the course... and we prepared a classic of the Italian Tradition!

Pizza and Focaccia dough

Making pizza dough is not the quickest process, but it's easy, and if you are an aficionado of Italian food you know that it's worth the effort to find your best pizza dough recipe, it will reward you with perfect pizzas every time.

500gr High grade flour
20gr yeast
¼ of a teaspoon of sugar
200ml warm water
3 teaspoons salt

Topping:Classic Pizza Margherita
extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoon dried Oregano
Mozzarella cheese (or a kind of...)

corso11.06 (3)

Strong white flour is best (in some countries this flour is marked as bread flour). Although plain flour can be used as well, it does not have the same high gluten content and therefore the finished pizza dough will not be as stretchy. Watching a pizza chef doing acrobatics with the dough is proof enough how elastic the dough should be, they throw it in the air and catch it with their fingers without it leaving a dent in the dough. This shows that the gluten has done its work and the pizza dough is robust and flexible.1. Activate the yeast by mixing it with lukewarm water and ¼ of a teaspoon of sugar. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

2. When bubbles, mix all the ingredients of the dough together and start kneading... and knead, knead, knead till the dough has the right consistency: not too dry... and not to sticky! If it is too sticky you should add some flour. If it is too dry you should add some lukewarm water.
3. I would at this stage suggest to put the dough in a good warm place to rise and let it rise there for about two hours: till the dough has approx doubled.

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4. Then take it out form the oven and turn temperature up to 250° and then start shaping you risen dough and then ... at this point you can start to create your own pizza... Afterwards put it into the oven for about 15/20 minutes.

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Pizza dough keeps in the refrigerator for several days and frozen pizza dough can be kept for several months. I always have frozen pizza dough in the freezer for emergencies, and I find that if it is frozen in pieces the size of golf balls then it is defrosted in ten minutes.

1corso11.06 (1)


Lasagne… my way… (about 4 serves)

500gr of Lasagne sheetsMilkGrated cheese or mozzarella
Ragù Bolognese Sauce

4 tins of Crushed tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Onions
300gr Beef mince
Italian sausage (if you like)
Bay leaves

Béchamel sauce

100gr of flour
100gr of butter
1lt of fresh milk

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1. Make your sauce, the ragù could cook up to 4 hours… this is what the tradition says… but the cooking time really depends on how much time do you have available… the choice is yours! Place the olive oil, salt, onions and garlic in a pan or a pot (it depends on how much sauce you are going to prepare). Dial the heat up and sauté for a minute or two. Add the mince and cook until browned and cooked through. Add the tomatoes and slowly bring to a simmer as well. Add salt and the spices. Let the sauce cook as long as you can at a medium heat. While the sauce is cooking you start to prepare the lasagne sheets.

2. Pre-cook the pasta (if you want): Fill a large pot of salted boiling water with your lasagne sheets. Ok, now you are ready to boil off your pasta. After 5/7 minutes (when they are softer and absorbed the water) fish them out (I use a pasta claw) after just 15-20 seconds, don't over cook. Transfer them on a flat and neat cotton towel. It is ok for them to overlap, I don't have a problem with the sheets sticking typically.

lasagne myway (1)

lasagne myway

3. In a dry lasagne pan, ladle one cup of sauce and spread along the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of pasta sheets. Now a thin layer of sauce, and a bit of béchamel sauce. Go for another layer of pasta, then sauce and béchamel, then pasta again, then sauce … and so on… Keep going until you've used up all the sauce and pasta. You want to finish with a layer of pasta. Top with the last of the sauce and the very last of the cheese so you have a nice cheesy top.

4. Tent lasagna pan with aluminum foil (not touching noodles or sauce). Bake at 180° for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

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martedì 29 aprile 2008