Mussels in a rich tomato sauce

You’re hooked. You loved the pasta starter, now for the real fun. Start thinking. Start adding. Start creating havoc.
Pasta shapes were not all about bored artisans getting trendy, and offering the yuppies of the 12th century the pasta shape you need when you’re tired of spaghetti! More to the point: different shapes for different sauces. [...]

Risotto with tomato and lime

This is a product of the tomato season, that time of the year when you’ve got the little red marvels bubbling away on top of the stove. Ladled into risotto, every grain is infused with that delicious richness of tomato puree.
Cooking, in my life, has more to do with what’s at hand than what’s in [...]

Risotto with tuna

The heat retained in risotto makes it a natural for cooking fish without effort, while retaining any of the juice of the fish that might run free. Tuna is an excellent partner, chunky and bitey and aggressive, particularly when kept undercooked.

A pasta starter

This is so simple, it’s hardly worth noting, but it encompasses everything to do with cooking pasta: simple flavours, blends, add-ons, options, opinions, care, and colour. Just like the society we live in.

Leftover risotto

It’s getting to be a little confusing when the dish you make with the leftovers turns out to be just as attractive as its parent of the day before. But I suppose that’s how the pie’n’sauce came to be. Whenever we cook risotto, we throw enough rice into a pot to feed fifteen people, and [...]

Risotto, the basics

Before I became really keen on risotto, I had always believed it to be about long and tedious and watchful cooking. And it is. And also about richly flavoured stocks adding bite to just-crunchy rice, and it is. But, and this is an important but, it is also rice which does not need hard-working stock [...]

Polenta, any way you like

Polenta is one of those archetypal Italian dishes which conjures up pictures of medieval housewives — sleeves rolled up, stirring and stirring, and stirring and stirring, in front of a massive hearth. Meanwhile, the men folk are lounging at table taking drink and waiting for mum to serve lunch, or afternoon tea, or dinner, or [...]

Couscous, for swells

Life seems to run permanently on the edge. Not enough time for this, not enough time for that, too much time for not much at all. What it means, I guess, is that you’ve got the ball, 20 metres from goal, you can win the game with the last shot, but five opponents are about [...]

A sexy tale of swedes and pasta

This piece of writing, which was originally written for The Sunday Age, is reproduced here, word for word, because it makes me laugh whenever I reread it.
I think I must be drifting into some sort of mental illness. The symptoms manifested themselves just the other day when I strolled into the local fruit shop and [...]

Goat’s cheese and spinach ravioli

There was a time when I thought you couldn’t make ravioli unless you had one of those extraordinary instruments that attach somehow to the top of those extra useful, tried and trusted, hand-powered pasta machines. The ravioli extra is something like a laundry shute, as seen in forties hotel movies. Two strips of pasta approach each other from opposite sides and a highly flavoured mixture is gobbled up as the strips rush through the machine. At least that’s what happens in the literature.