Winter is fast approaching here in Melbourne. As the temperature drops, the clouds darken and the kitchen becomes a welcome place of comfort and warmth. What better way to feed such desires than a cottage pie? I’ve been making this for many years and have yet to receive any complaints. It’s easy to increase the quantity and freeze the spare pie for rainy day!
From my understanding, Cottage Pie, similar in origins to Shepherds Pie, was first made to use up ingredients left over from the weeks roast. Cottage Pie uses beef, rather than lamb. It’s also called a pie, but there is no pastry involved in this version. The top is a lovely crust of mashed potatoes.
This recipe is inspired by Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. What I love most about the cookbook is the recipes are categorised not by ingredient but rather by colour. As with any recipe I have taken some liberties with the ingredients! This is one of two recipes I use depending on what I have in the house (the other recipe uses stock, instead of tomatoes.). I intend on posting the other recipe eventually.
Using the quantities below this comfortably feeds 4 to 6 people. It can also be prepared the day before and kept in the fridge overnight.
I collect recipes. I love talking to people about cooking, about techniques and there is nothing I love more than someone sharing their recipe. This trait is a gift from my mother. The title is a little misleading as it’s not my original recipe. My mother Maria, received this recipe from a parent of one of my sisters primary school friends. We’ve been making them ever since (for more years than I care to count!).
This is a recipe I use when I’m struggling for time, and I want to make something savoury and delicious. I made these for Alex and Fran for our Jams and Preserves Day and they went down really well! Continue reading →
Pasta, is a food I take for granted. My grandparents emigrated to Australia from Southern Italy. My paternal grandfather in 1921, and my remaining grandparents in the 1950s. I sometimes think about the difficult choices they made; I discovered when I visited Ellis Island in 2006 that my paternal grandfather John had originally lived in New York with his father. He probably would have lived in the tenements in the lower east side and his experience of New York would have been infinitely different from mine.
With my grandparents move to Australia, they brought their ideas about food. While some of the traditions are slowly dying out (we no longer make our sausages), some stay. My paternal grandmother Carmela was more passionate about food. When she was alive we would eat dinner at her house once a week. Recently when I made the Vegan Chocolate Cake, it smelt so distinctly like her cake it transported me back to her kitchen in North Carlton. However, she died when I was 9 and a lot of her recipes were never transcribed to paper and are lost.
Every two years with my maternal grandmother, we make our own sugo, which leads me to the fact I take pasta for granted. At home, I eat once or twice a week. Growing up without fail every Thursday night and every Sunday lunch/dinner (depending on work schedules). The sugo is transformed into a Bolognese or Napoletana sauce which requires a few hours to simmer so sometimes, unless there is a container already in the freezer, a quick substitute is required.
Spaghettini with Eggplant is an excellent staple. It’s relatively quick and robust in flavour, and most importantly can be adapted to personal tastes. It’s from Marcella Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cookbook: The of Italian Cooking and the Art of Italian Eating.