Beef, mushroom & spinach lasagne

beef, mushroom and spinach lasagne

Market ingredient: Pasta Gallery Fresh Lasagne sheets (although the mushies, spinach and basil were also from the markets)
Difficulty: Easy but bechamel takes a lot of love
Deliciousness: Hearty
Did The Beard like it? It’s apparently his favourite lasagne (just don’t tell his Mum)

So, it’s a bit of an excited blog post for 2 reasons:

  1. I’ve finally opened up some fantastic box lights that were given to me by Stevie-from-across-the-road’s wonderful wife-to-be, the divine Miss H. Miss H is a spectacular designer and photographer. Not only does she take better photos of food than I could ever hope to take (my iphone isn’t really helping my cause much either) but she is also ridiculously generous. When she told me she had two box lights just sitting under her desk at work and they were mine if I wanted them, I was tres excited. So this is my first crack at banishing yellow-lit food from this blog.
  2. The Beard and I are in the middle of planning a big holiday to North Africa / Sicily / Malta. Those that know me know that I’m a bit of an Italian-want-to-be and have a bit of a romantic notion of that country. I’ve just spent the entire weekend reading up on Sicily, where we are going to be spending 2 out of the 4 weeks away. After picking up some of Pasta Gallery’s Fresh Lasagne sheets this week, it seemed only appropriate that we finish the weekend out with some hearty Italian fare.

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Caprese salad

Caprese salad on a white plate
Market ingredient:
 Buffalo mozzarella
Difficulty: No cooking required
Deliciousness: An oldie but a goodie
Did The Beard like it? Things that make you go MMMMMM

So this is a pretty simple one, but more often than not, these are the best ones. There’s nothing more Italian than a caprese salad. Tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella. An Italian flag of deliciousness. Seeing as I’m on a bit of a buffalo bonanza at the moment, it seemed an appropriate way to utilise the buffalo mozzarella I picked up from AusBuff Stuff at Eveleigh last week. The simple, clean and crisp flavours of fresh tomatos and home-grown basil perfectly compliment the subtle creaminess of the mozzarella.

This salad needs no further introduction.

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Fig & chocolate tart

Fig & chocolate tart 3

Market ingredient: FIGS!
Difficulty: I’d underestimated the difficulty of pastry
Deliciousness: Intensity in ten cities.
Did The Beard like it? He ate two pieces and promptly fell into a food coma

So, I’ve discovered this week that I may not be destined to be a pastry chef. Considering myself pretty good at cooking most things, this afternoon I conducted an epic dessert battle and I am actually humble enough to say that I may have come off second best. There was much swearing and gnashing of teeth as I rolled the pastry, tore it, dropped it, squashed it into a tart case, got it stuck to the baking paper after a feeble attempt at blind baking. Short crust pastry, 1; Steph 0.

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Mixed mushroom risotto

Mixed mushroom risotto on 2 plates

Market ingredient: Mixed mushrooms from The Funghi Difficulty: Easy, just needs constant attention
Deliciousness: Comfort food
Did The Beard like it? He ate 2 servings

I walk past The Funghi stand every week and marvel at the variety of mushrooms this guy has. Giant portobellos, slippery wood-ears, cute litte chestnuts, enoiki, shiitake and an enormous pile of somewhat dangerous pine mushrooms (next time you’re in Creasion in Sydney, ask the owner, Yu, just how many pine mushrooms one person should eat in one sitting!). They’re fascinating to look at and I always stop to take a peek.

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