Try these new takes on classic Italian dishes thanks to Silvia Colloca from hit SBS Food series Cook Like An Italian.
Providing an authentic guide to Italian-style cooking, SBS Food series Cook Like An Italian has won over fans around the country, showing how you can use simple but flavourful quality ingredients to help perfect a range of classic dishes. Its host, cook Silvia Colloca, shares the recipes and tips handed down through generations, giving them her own spin with an unfussy and intuitive cooking style that’s easily channelled at home.
David Jones Food has proudly partnered with the 2021 series of Cook Like an Italian to help bring the joy of cooking into your home. This season sees Silvia visit her local David Jones Food locations—Sydney’s Elizabeth Street and Bondi Junction stores—to stock up on quality essentials and special ingredients, before sharing how to bring them to life in the kitchen. Here, learn how to make a cosy minestrone, a fresh take on seafood, plus a hearty spin on chicken-and-potatoes. Serve as you wish, but don’t forget credo of Italian cooking, which is that the finished product is best when shared.
Minestrone with risoni
There’s soup, and then there’s Silvia’s pasta-laced minestrone. Filled with hearty vegetables and beans and finished with a dash of chilli oil (if you so please), this winter classic is the perfect thing to pop on ahead of a cosy night in.
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, well washed and thinly sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 chunk of parmesan or pecorino cheese crust
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2 cm pieces
1 tin of fresh borlotti beans, well rinsed. (Alternatively, soak 2 cups of dried beans for 12 hours, then cook in simmering water for 2 hours.)
200g of chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
6-7 Brussels sprouts, quartered and outer leaves removed
4-5 leaves of cavolo nero leaves, stalk removed, shredded
200g of risoni
Extra-virgin olive oil or chilli oil to serve
Pecorino or parmigiano to dust on top
1. Sautée the sliced and chopped vegetables with the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cheese crust (if using).
2. Add the potatoes, the tomatoes and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Add salt and pepper. Add beans, Brussels sprouts and risoni pasta and stir through.
3. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is nicely al dente, stirring regularly. Turn off the heat, add the cavolo nero and allow the residual heat of the pan to wilt it.
4. Serve hot with a good swirl of extra virgin olive oil or chilli oil and a dusting of grated parmesan or pecorino.
DAVID JONES FOOD
Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Nolan Soft Gold Cutlery
Per Vita Stainless Steel Saucepan
Zucchini and prawn fritto
There are few greater joys in the kitchen than a dish that’s impressive enough to have people thinking it took far more effort than it did. This zucchini and prawn fritto is one such recipe – and is generous enough to have your guests going back for a second serve.
12 green prawns, peeled and deveined
4 baby zucchini with their blossoms, cut in half
250g of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
salt and pepper
200ml of ice-cold sparkling water
8 thin slices of lemon
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Lemon wedges to serve
1. Heat up the oil in a large, heavy based pan. Mix flour, baking soda and sparkling water to obtain a sticky batter. Season with salt and pepper. Dip the zucchini, prawns and lemon slices into the batter, drip the excess off and dip fry in batches for 4-5 minutes or until crispy.
2. Serve hot seasoned with salt flakes, and with a few lemon wedges
Chicken diavola with Mediterranean potatoes
Trade up your usual chicken-and-veg for this delicious chicken diavola with Mediterranean potatoes, made moreish with lashings of herbs and garlic.
2 organic chickens, butterflied
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup of dry white wine
5-6 red hot chillies (chilli peppers), halved, cut into chucks
Fresh herbs (like marjoram, rosemary and oregano)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
Small onions, peeled and cut in half
3-4 garlic cloves, skin on, bruised with the back of a knife
1 lemon, cut into slices
A few handfuls of boiled potato wedges
1. Heat up your oven to 220°C (conventional) or 180°C (fan-forced). Place the chickens onto a large roasting tray and season well with salt and pepper. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water straight after.
2. Mix oil, white wine, chopped chillies and herbs in a jug and pour onto the chickens. Scatter the garlic, onion halves, boiled potatoes and lemon slices over the tray. Roast for 60-70 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown on top, and allow to rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before carving.
3. Serve with your favourite side dish and plenty of rosè or pinot noir.
DAVID JONES FOOD
Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
GORDON RAMSAY BY ROYAL DOULTON
DAVID JONES WINE
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
2018 Saint AIX Rosé
Cook Like An Italian airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS Food.