15 May 2011

We were blessed with big blue skies, warm cozy sunshine and lots of happy positive people.  Once i finally got myself sorted in the mobile kitchen, i cooked some really delicious goodies. It may sound crazy but the food suited the day perfectly. 
The Roasted Yam and Maple Soup was smooth, earthy and comforting.  The Penne with Cardrona Lamb Sausages went down a treat with all as it was easy and fast too prepare, inexpensive and filling.  Finally the delicious Pears Roasted with Honey, Lemon and Orange finished off our day beautifully.

Ray Goddard
(thank you for the Yams)


Goddards have the first of the seasons, sweet and plump yams available

Serves 4-6

1.5 kg yams
2 onions, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic
1 fresh bay leaf (optional)

2 sprigs fresh thyme

75ml maple syrup
Chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cream to garnish (optional)

Preheat your oven to 200C

Put the washed yams, sliced onions and garlic into a baking dish and drizzle over the maple syrup, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper give the pan a shake to coat all the yams. Roast until the yams soften and caramelize, (10-15 minutes).
When the yams are tender and slightly caramelised, carefully tip them all into a suitable size pot.  Pour a little stock into the oven dish which the yams were cooked in and give it a scrap to ensure you get all the yummy bits off the pan. Pour all the liquid into the pot with the yams and onions. Add some more stock to just cover the yams along with the thyme and bay leaf if using. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook gently for at least 30 minutes so that the flavours have time to develop. When the yams are soft and mushy and the soup has taken on a cloudy appearance. It is ready to puree, either in a food processor or with a stick wand. I personally like this soup quite smooth.

Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. If it is too thick add a little more stock or water to loosen the soup to your desired consistency.

Serve in warm bowls, it does go well with a little fresh cream drizzled on top to soften the flavour!

Thanks for the Authentic Pasta

Whether it is fresh or dried it is arguably one of the all time great meals. It makes the perfect light lunch or a comforting dinner and it is always a hit with children.

A lot of people think fresh pasta is superior to dried - not true! It’s just that they have a different role to play in your dish. Dried pasta generally is made from flour and mostly water, which means that it lasts longer and retains a fantastic bite. It is great with seafood, oily tomato sauces, whereas fresh pasta is silky and tender and suits being stuffed with creamy and buttery sauces.

HOW TO COOK PASTA: FRESH AND DRIEDThe most important lesson I have learnt with cooking pasta is not to over-cook it! It needs to have a slight bite. And getting the appropriate pasta for the right sauce…

Always use a large pot with enough water so the pasta has plenty of room to move around. Simply 2/3 full a good size pan up with water and a generous pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil. Only add the pasta when it is on a rolling boil. I tend to read the packaging on the pasta packets as they can vary. But the best test is to remove a piece and bite into it to test it. It should be tender to the bite not soft!

Give the pot of pasta a frequent stir to prevent over cooking. As soon as it is done, drain most of the liquid, reserving some of the liquid as it is good to add to your sauce. Add to your favourite sauce!
Pasta suggestions
Spaghetti with squashed olives, tomatoes, garlic and rocket
Penne with balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, basil and ricotta
Tagliatelle with green beans, pesto, and potato
Farfalle with broccoli, chilli and anchovies
Spaghetti with cockles, chilli and parsley
Pappardelle with sausages, silver beet and pecorino

Cardrona Merino Lamb
(Thanks Rob for the outstanding Lamb)

Penne with Cardrona Lamb Sausages, Tomato and Parsley
Serves 4

60 ml olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
Sprig fresh rosemary, roughly cut
1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
3 lamb sausages, meat removed from skins (small meatball size)
1 cup passata (or fresh tomatoes roughly chopped)
½ cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste
400g dried Pasta doro Penne or Rigatoni

Heat oil in a large fry pan over medium-heat, add the onion, and sausage meat, cook until the onion softens and the sausage has gone brown. Add the rosemary and garlic, cook for a further one minute. Add the wine, and tomato and cook until the sauce thickens (4-5minutes). Add half the parsley, season with salt and pepper, turn down the heat and cook your pasta.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of heavily salted water. Check the packet with exact times usually about 6-10 minutes or until al dente (tender to the bite)

Drain, reserving 60 ml of the cooking water. Return pasta and reserved cooking water to pan. Add sausage mixture, stir to coat well, season to taste, scatter over remaining parsley. Serve immediately with fresh parmesan cheese generously grated over.
PANGRITATA - poor man’s parmesan
8 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 good handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
200g fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Honey-Roast Pears with Toasted Oats and Yoghurt

Serves 4
200g honey

1 orange and lemon, thinly peeled rind and juice
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
4 pears, unpeeled, halved, cores removed (a melon-baller works well)
2 tsp orange blossom water , optional
100 oats,
30-50g brown sugar
Pinch cardamom
Thick Greek yoghurt to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Simmer honey, juices, rinds and vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to a light syrup (8-10 minutes). Place pears, cut-side up in a roasting pan large enough to fit pears snugly. Pour over honey mixture and roast, basting occasionally, until tender and begin to caramelize (20-25minutes).

Meanwhile mix oats with sugar and cardamom, spread out onto a baking tray and toast until lightly golden and getting a little crunchy in places. Remove from the oven and cool.

Remove the pears from the pan, stir through the orange blossom water if using and serve the pears with a generous spoon of yoghurt and syrup drizzled over, and a scattering of toasted oats.

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their wonderful products.