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Baked Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo

Baked Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo

Simple to make and using everyday ingredients, turn a familiar dish into something memorable. This baked Rotolo is like cannelloni on steroids because it is everything you know and love about cannelloni, PLUS there are brown crunchy bits.  And brown crunchy bits are always the best! 

Cannelloni on steroids! Turn a familiar dish into something memorable. Everyday ingredients. Easy to make.

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Express Enchilada Soup with Pulled Pork

Express Enchilada Soup with Pulled Pork

This Express Enchilada Soup is part of a series of meals made using Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork) that I shared. Using leftover pulled pork, you will be dishing out this flavoursome soup in 15 minutes!

Made with leftover Pulled Pork, this Enchilada soup is on the table in 15 minutes. Toppings are not optional! #mexican

A few weeks ago I shared my Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Enchilada Soup(that’s a mouthful, isn’t it!!). It’s great because it literally takes 10 minutes to prep then you set…

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Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin with Yoghurt and Pine Nuts

Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin with Yoghurt and Pine Nuts

This is a recipe adapted from Karen Martini, a great Australian chef. The flavour combination of caramelised roasted pumpkin with cinnamon is sensational and set off perfectly with tangy, creamy yoghurt and bursts of nutty crunch from the pine nuts. Simple to make, satisfying enough to have as a meal, or a great side.

Sublime flavour combination, simple to make contemporary Middle Easter dish.

Karen Martini is a great Australian chef known for her contemporary takes on…

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Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Wings

Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Wings

These chicken wings are marinated overnight in a quick to prepare Vietnamese lemongrass marinade that is packed full of flavour, then grilled to perfection on the BBQ. You can also cook them in the oven, but I am partial to the charcoal flavours!

Classic simple Vietnamese marinade infused with lemongrass, then grilled to perfection! #BBQ #grill #chicken #appetizer #asian #fusion

I may be overloading on Vietnamese dishes this week, having just shared Vietnamese Rice Paper Rollsa couple of days ago. But I’m not going to apologise…

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Packet Ramen Makeover

Making a real ramen from scratch is best left to the experts. The soup stock is an art in itself. So for us ordinary folk, make ramen in your own home using packet ramen – but transform it by piling on stir fried vegetables cooked with a light sauce. It’ll make instant ramen unrecognisable!

Makeover instant ramen by adding a saucy stir fry topping!

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Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Spring Rolls)

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Spring Rolls)

These fresh and healthy Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are accompanied by a sensational peanut dipping sauce that is totally addictive! Plus my two secret tips that makes rolling these up neatly super easy AND step by step photos!

Restaurant quality peanut dipping sauce and 2 secret tips to make rolling these up a breeze! #appetizer #summer #healthy #fresh

I think that Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are one of those things that people lovebut always assume are just too fiddly or too hard to make. To dispel of that myth, let me…

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Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

Momofuku Marinated Beef Skirt Steak Ssam

In New York, a city that’s all about the latest and greatest, never has there been a chef that has caused such a buzz as David Chang. Founder and owner of Momofuku, David Chang is known for making unique, cheap, mesmerising fusion Asian food that has his patrons talking about it days, weeks, months, even years after dining at any of his restaurants. This is one of his creations which is…

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Lay out a bruschetta spread with bowls of toppings and piles of grilled bread and let your guests help themselves. This bruschetta with three different toppings will take you less than 15 minutes to put together. And did you know that the the grilled bread for bruschetta is actually best made ahead? So convenient for entertaining!

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

There are endless bruschetta recipes “out there”. Google “bruschetta recipes” and you’ll be returned with 19.4 million hits. And I’m betting that 98% of them aren’t authentic Italian ones! I don’t judge – I am all for putting your own spin on things, doing modern / western / fusion versions of traditional recipes. And I’ve eaten and made my fair share of non-authentic bruschetta (eg. ricotta with grilled peach drizzled with honey…oh my!). But you can’t beat the real deal, the way it’s made in Italy.

Today I’m sharing three bruschetta recipes, all done properly, learnt from reading cookbooks of Italian masters like Stefano Manfredi and Lidia Bastianich. Nothing fancy about them, just bruschetta done the way Italian Mamas make them every day. This spread will take you less than 15 minutes to put together. Truly, I timed it from start to finish (excluding the time I spent faffing around styling the food to photograph it).

1. Tomato and Basil (click for recipe) – by far the most well known topping, the key is to use juicy, ripe tomatoes. The proper Italian way to make the tomato and basil topping is to serve it just seasoned with salt and pepper with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. No garlic, no lemon, no red wine vinegar. The garlic flavour comes from rubbing the bread with garlic. This is real Italian Tomato and Basil Bruschetta.

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

2. Celery and Lime (click for recipe) – a unique topping, but I promise you, even celery haters will be converted once they try this. Pureed with lime, garlic, salt, pepper and plenty of extra virgin olive oil, this is incredibly light and fresh and doesn’t have that slight grassy flavour of raw celery that is off-putting for some people. The combination of celery and lime is a revelation.

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

3. Cannellini Beans with Lemon (click for recipe) -another topping that is not as well known but is as Italian as they come. It takes 2 minutes to make – you simply mash canned cannellini beans (any white beans will work), lemon rind and juice and a splash of olive oil. So creamy. SO GOOD.

Tomato & Basil, Lemon Cannellini and a refreshing Celery Lime Bruschetta spread. Classic Italian toppings.

To make a great bruschetta, there are 3 rules:

1. Use a great crusty bread - Proper bruschetta is made with slightly stale bread that is grilled over charcoal, preferably ciabatta or a crusty sourdough. The bread needs to toast well so it is crunchy but won’t disintegrate when you bite into it. I read a great tip somewhere to grill the bread the day before then leave it, uncovered, to let it become stale overnight then to reheat them in the oven just prior to serving. This is so convenient for feeding a crowd and makes the bread fantastically crunchy.

2. Rub the bread with garlic – It was a revelation to discover this tip that Italians have been doing for centuries. No more furious mixing of butter with minced garlic! Just lightly rub the toasted bread with a piece of garlic and be enthralled by how good it tastes when topped with a juicy fresh topping.

3. Fresh produce – it goes without saying so I’ll keep this short and sweet: crappy tomatoes = crappy mediocre bruschetta. (PS Still edible. But it just ain’t the same. Just sayin’). Sorry, no way around it. Same goes with any other bruschetta topping made with fresh produce.

Oh wait, I have one more rule:

4. Be generous with the Olive Oil and Seasoning. Now is not the time to count calories. Bruschetta with a teeny drizzle of olive oil is like a sausage roll with a drop of tomato sauce. Just sad. And salt brings out the sweetness of tomatoes as well as drawing out the juice so it can transform an ordinary tomato into a good tomato, and a great tomato into a stellar tomato!

Here are the recipes. I ended up posting them separately to make it easier to find them later.

Hope you enjoy them! They are so incredibly fast to make – each of the toppings only take a few minutes. They are great entertaining staples to pop into your RecipeTin app!

Trio of Bruschetta Spread Lay out a bruschetta spread with bowls of toppings and piles of grilled bread and let your guests help themselves.
Trio of Bruschetta: Lemon Cannellini Bean Bruschetta

Trio of Bruschetta: Lemon Cannellini Bean Bruschetta

Transform a humble can of cannellini beans into a bruschetta topping with just a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley. Good value, creamy and so tasty, this is one of three bruschettas for the Trio of Bruschetta Spread.

Transform a humble can of cannellini beans into something amazing. One of 3 bruschetta toppings for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread. #Italian #appetizer #starter

I always have a can of Cannellini Beans in my pantry. It really amazes me how many uses I find for it – in salads, as a quick mash (check out…

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Trio of Bruschetta: Real Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Trio of Bruschetta: Real Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta is by far the most popular and well known bruschetta in the world. Simply prepared, using plump juicy tomatoes, it will make your tastebuds sing. This recipe is real Tomato & Basil Bruschetta, the way Italians make it. Super simple. The way it should be! This is one of three bruschettas for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread.

Made the proper way Italians make it. One of 3 bruschetta toppings for a Trio of Bruschetta Spread. #Italian #appetizer #starter

There are gazillions of Tomato and Basil…

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