In My Kitchen, October 2016

October – a long weekend, warmer weather, the month the boys were born, the beginning of mango season, a thriving herb garden, what’s not to like?

With a new month, I felt like a little new inspiration in the kitchen and headed up to my local library – which has an amazing cookbook section – for a few ideas. Some good ones in these books which I’ll be trying. The best recipe in my kitchen, however, remains this one by Mamma Rosa.


In my kitchen are San Marzano tomatoes. I’ve been looking for these for a while; so many Italian pizza chefs that have opened up in Sydney in the last few years say they will only use these (I am probably a marketing sucker, but maybe not since they seem to be hard to get in Sydney, not even the Italian delis I go to have them). I stumbled across them on special at my local Woolworths, I have never seen them there before so not sure if it was a one off or if they will be regular stock. Like Champagne or Parmeggiano, the rules around name designation are very specific. They can only be called San Marzano if they come from a very particular area of Napoli near Mount Vesuvius. Next time I make pizza, I’ll let you know if I notice the difference!


In my kitchen are a myriad of colanders in multiple colours; I have accumulated them from all my purchases of fresh ricotta. Any ideas what to do with them all?


One Sunday afternoon the Marito and the boys wanted to make apple pie, to which they are rather partial. I heard a lot of clattering in the kitchen, but the end result looked pretty good. They were enormously proud of themselves, a lot of regular high fiving and commenting going on for the rest of the day, it was pretty entertaining.


We often don’t talk about our kitchen stuff ups on the IMK series. Well I have had a couple recently. I tried my hand at making my own tortillas. The boys like to have burritos (frankly I’m delighted that they eat kidney beans), but I find the supermarket packet ones taste just so processed and rather awful. I’ll need a few goes to get them right, it’s hard to get them thin and not sticking when you roll them out, even with a lot of flour, so when I lifted them after rolling into the pan they turned into a bit of a mess. The flavour was good though.


I also tried to make some ciambellini di ricotta – ricotta biscuits, which are meant to have a hole in the middle – but I underestimated how much they would grow, or used too much baking powder, and they didn’t look like ciambellini at all. They were soft and delicate though.


In my kitchen are macadamia nuts, courtesy of my sister’s rather prolific tree. Time to get cracking.


I bought some freeze dried raspberries for a Neil Perry recipe I want to try, will see how it goes.


And finally how cute are these teeny nutella’s? We saw them at the Italian deli and I couldn’t resist buying them for the boys.imkoct16-8

What’s happening in your kitchen? Thanks to Liz from Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things who has taken up hosting the monthly IMK link up of kitchens around the world.

23 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, October 2016

  1. Liz - Good Things

    Hi there! Ah, like me, you have many ricotta baskets. I find them handy for all sorts of things, including taking them out to the vegetable garden and popping my freshly picked strawberries into them. Love those mini nutellas! Hope you enjoy the smoked trout. I love it, and also buy the less oily smoked trout from the Snowy Mountains. Thanks for the very kind shout out, and for participating in IMK.

  2. Francesca

    I remember that letter from Mama Rosa very well. Veramente, lei e` un tesore. I also have a large collection of ricotta tubs- I use them for draining home made yoghurt to make it thicker, I sue them for camping fruit baskets and strainers to wash veggies in, egg collection baskets, containers to hold things for the export market- they are so handy.
    All the Italian chefs love San Marzano tomatoes but, really, can you trust the labeling and the marketing? I am always suspicious. I have never seen this particular Val Verde product ( unlike the others which flood our markets) Shall keep and eye out for them though.

  3. Shari from GoodFoodWeek

    I love borrowing books from the library – as I think my husband would explode if I bought another book – we really don’t have any room {even if I did a big cull of books before we moved from Canberra to Sydney}. I could smash a few of those nutella pots as well #pregnancycravings

  4. fergie51

    I remember reading about Mama Rosa’s book and know how wonderful it must be for you to have. A few sourdough bakers use those baskets to proof dough in (T/Towel lined), maybe a community cooking program or school with a garden/coking program and they could be used as colanders or produce baskets or such. The boys did a great job with that pie, can’t beat a good apple pie!

  5. Moya

    Beautiful apple pie… a high five to the boys. The ricotta biscuits look really delicious and I don’t think I would miss the hole in the middle :)

  6. Kim Bultman

    Josephine, I haven’t had much success with making homemade tortillas either, but yours don’t look as awful as you imagined. (Evenly browned & TASTY, yay!) Sometimes there’s so much ‘perfection’ in foodie world these days (aided & abetted by photo editing, lights, filters, etc.) that it’s refreshing to see real-life outcomes. Remind me to post a few “bloopers” again. I used to and they were some of my most popular posts cuz they were “real!” :) Way to go on that and your “holle-less” ciambellini.

  7. marcellina

    This is the first month I have participated in IMK and I love peeking into everyone’s kitchens. I too have a million ricotta containers. They seem very useful…I’m just not sure what for! But the ricotta biscuits look so soft and delicious, I think you are going to have to keep buying ricotta.

  8. missfoodfairy

    Your homemade tortillas look fantastic Josephine, I love the rustic shape & I don’t think they always need to be round :) You’ve inspired me to share some ‘disasters’ that happen next month. The boys should be very happy with their pie making attempt – I’d let them do it all the time ;) Love to hear your thoughts on those tomatoes – I just bought that brand too but not from that area. So wonderful to see you again for IMK xx

  9. Lisa

    I’m very impressed with that pie effort – what a great job they did (and how lucky for you to get pie without having to make it yourself!). Portioned Nutella servings… just genius! Interested to hear if you notice a difference with the tomatoes… I’m thinking you could use the colanders for bread proving maybe?

    1. Napoli Restaurant Alert Post author

      The vegetable garden is taking off so with any luck I’ll soon be filling those colanders with home picked produce! I think those tomatoes are meant to be less acidic than normal, but I find Val Verde’s standard tinned tomatoes are less acidic than other brands and mostly buy those.

  10. Mackay Sherry

    How cute are those tiny jars of Nutella? I have often wondered about those tomatoes. Chefs seem to rave. Cute little strainers you have there. Clever fellas making that pie.

  11. Pingback: In my Kitchen February 2017 – Miss Food Fairy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.