Tag Archives: Buzo

Today’s cake – Torta di Verona my way

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I love the Torta di Verona dessert at Buzo.  They haven’t published a recipe, so I thought I’d make it up.  I daresay they make their own pandoro, but I’m not that ambitious and buy it.  Consequently you can only make this around Christmas time when the pandoro arrives from Italy. I made this on Christmas Day, but prepared the blueberries and almonds the day before to make it easier; it got a big wrap. You’ll need one whole pandoro – I had a 1kg pandoro and used about three quarters of it.  Its unlikely the slices will fit your chosen bowl exactly so tear off pieces as needed to fill in gaps as you create the layers. Serves 8-10.

Blueberry Compote
250g blueberries
4 tbsp. water
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Put the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pot and stir well to combine. Add the blueberries and cook over medium to low heat, until the blueberries soften but still have some shape. Set aside and allow to cool. Seal in a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sugared almonds
100g slivered almonds
1 tbsp. caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. amaretto (Italian liquor)
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. In a bowl, combine the almonds, sugar and amaretto and stir well. Spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in oven until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, dust generously with icing sugar, and allow to cool. Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate until read to use.

Mascarpone cream
5 eggs, separated
5 tbsp. caster sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
50ml marsala
80ml amaretto

In a bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale, then add the mascarpone and mix at high speed. Add the marsala and amaretto, then fold in egg whites.

Assembly
Slice the pandoro into 2cm slices. Remove the outer brown crust.
In a ceramic or glass dish, place 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture, top with a layer of pandoro, another layer of cream, another layer of pandoro, then a final layer of cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Using a serving spoon, serve a portion into a bowl. Top with a spoonful of blueberries, followed by a sprinkling of the almonds.

Buzo, Woollahra

In the tough restaurant game, when a place clocks up 10 years, it says a lot. When its almost full, bar a table or two, on a Tuesday night in Winter after all that time, it says even more. But those in the know will not be surprised that Buzo has lasted the distance – the comforting Italian fare without hype and trickery, in an intimate Woollahra terrace, will linger in your thoughts well after the meal is over, and lure you back.

The staff are charming and friendly, and plump flavoursome green olives are a good start to snack on while you debate what to order. But there are a few dishes that are pretty difficult to go past that I’ve ordered time and time again.

The cabbage salad and the chicken wings are long timers on the menu (though the latter a little small for the $19 price I think), and I love them both. I’ve made the cabbage salad at home too, but have to do some finer slicing next time.

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004 (2)That night we also order a special – onions stuffed with beef and I think parmigiano – I can’t remember the specifics, but they were little balls of beautiful flavour, which should get moved to permanent status!

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I also always struggle to go past the Vincisgrassi lasagne (its on my list of Must Have Pasta dishes). Before it hits the table you know its coming – that combined scent of truffle, porcini, and parmigiano being walked through the restaurant makes other diners curse about not ordering it. It’s rich, it’s decadent, it’s devine. The other dish they have had on the menu occasionally is a duck ragu with parpadelle, yum.

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And finally the Torta di Verona – if I had a Must Have Dessert list, this would be on it. Pandoro, mascarpone, blueberries, and almonds – a simple combination that has people I’ve been with regularly oh-my-Godding at the table. I would say they make their own pandoro, which would be no mean feat, but I’ll wait till Christmas when it arrives from Italy, and have a go at making this myself – stay tuned.

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We also tried a special that night, a brioche with whisky ice cream. Loved the ice cream, but the brioche was a little too firm for me.

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Buzo, 3 Jersey Road Woollahra, ph 02 9328 1600

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Buzo Cabbage Salad

Flicking through an old edition of Gourmet Traveller, I stumbled across Buzo’s cabbage salad recipe. Great if entertaining a crowd with a variety of dishes as its quite a big serve.

napolicabbagesalad

Ingredients
100g Iranian raisins (or seedless raisins)
125 ml (½ cup) marsala
600g savoy cabbage
1-2 tbsp white balsamic or white wine vinegar
100g pine nuts
100g sourdough
80g pecorino
4 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves

For the Salad cream
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
300 ml olive oil
100 ml pouring cream

Prep work
1. Place raisins in a bowl and cover with marsala, and leave overnight
2. Finely slice cabbage
3. Lightly toast pinenuts
4. Toast sourdough and tear into small pieces
5. Grate pecorino
6. Coarsely chop parsley

Making it
1. For salad cream, process egg yolks, vinegar and mustard in a food processor until combined, then gradually add oil in a thin, steady stream until emulsified. Transfer to a small bowl, stir through cream and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

2. Combine cabbage and vinegar in a bowl, toss to coat and stand for 10 minutes.

3. Drain raisins, discarding marsala, and add to cabbage with pine nuts and half the breadcrumbs, pecorino and parsley. Add salad cream, toss gently to combine and season to taste. Serve immediately scattered with remaining breadcrumbs, pecorino and parsley.

Sydney’s must have pasta dishes

I have an obvious inherent bias towards Italian food. Due to my very traditional father, it was the only cuisine I experienced until I was about 18 years old. This wasn’t exactly a hardship, with things like fresh pasta, homemade salami (I still can’t eat shop bought), roast quail, osso buco, braised artichokes, knockout tiramisu and the like being regular features on Mamma Rosa’s menu.  But I’ve decided that Australia over the last 30 years, also has developed this bias.  I recently have been sending these write ups to a friend in London who left Australia some years back and other than Tetsuyas, the names he recognised, or asked if they were still around and got a positive, were the Italian ones – Australia’s love of Italian food has led to some impressive longevity in the restaurant stakes. In the inner city, Buon Ricordo, Lucio’s, Beppi’s, Bambini Trust, Buzo, Otto, A tavola, for instance, have all clocked up serious mileage, some of them two decades (do restaurants starting with B have higher survival rates?). And then you’ve got all the suburban staples like La Perla, Il Piave, Grappa, Il Perugino, La Rustica, Il Vicolo, some of which have been open since my parents migrated here.

These are the pasta dishes to look out for, in no particular order

The slow cooked 24 hour ragu Bolognese at Sopra

The vincisgrassi at Buzo (worthy of a scene from When Harry Met Sally)

The truffled egg fettucini at Buon Ricordo

The timballo Napolitano at Buon Ricordo

(And while you’re at it, the rigatoni with salted rock cod at Buon Ricordo, not always there but appears annually)

The pappardelle with bone marrow ragu at Pendolino

The crab tagliolini at Lucio’s

The white mushroom, burnt butter and truffle pecorino risotto at Mercato e Cucina

The pappardelle with oxtail ragu at Via Alta

The fresh egg tagliatelle at my mothers (I’ll let you know when I get it right, WIP)

And on the off chance that Giovanni Pilu reads this, keep that malloreddus with crab and guanciale please.

Now I usually get abuse / looks of horror when I say this, but Sydney Italian is better than Melbourne Italian. Stop it, yes it is. Try as I might, I can’t come up with a list of ‘go to dishes’ in Melbourne like that. I adored the crab and nettle pasta at Bottega, went back a couple more times especially for it, and the duck risotto at Lupino was fabulous, why did you take them off the menu? I’m not saying there aren’t good Italian restaurants, there are plenty, but not the stayers on the menus (fickleness down south, or boring-ness up north?).  Speaking of Melbourne, if you do want some of the great Calabrese cuisine I’ve grown up with, Sarti gets a big tick from me.

I had the pleasure recently, thanks to a dear friend, of attending a small dinner with Antonio Carluccio. He was very charming and entertaining, clearly a huge ladies man back in the day, and it was lovely to hear his life story. That night we had this wonderful Pasta Forno, and the recipe actually appears on his website. www.antonio-carluccio.com/Pasta_Imbottita_con_Vegetali_al_Forno. I had a go at making it on the weekend – its not a pasta dish, its an extravaganza. It got thumbs up all round in the Napoli Household.

While I’m at it, might as well turn this into a bumper Italian issue.  Fabulous summary in the SMH recently.  Yes, Pasticceria Papa’s ricotta cake is the best you’ll find anywhere in Sydney. Love Tamborrino’s rum baba.  Surprised they didn’t mention Sulfaro’s cannoli? And I’ve been going to Ranieri’s deli with my mum since I began to walk.  Do yourself a favour and get some of their truffle pecorino. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-and-bars/buon-appetito-a-guide-to-italian-sydney-20120924-26g97.html

Have a fabulous week. Buon appetito!

Buon Ricordo 108 Boundary Street Paddington  ph (02)9360 6729
http://www.buonricordo.com.au

Cafe Sopra 7 Danks Street Waterloo ph (02) 9699 3174

Lucio’s Italian Restaurant 47 Windsor Street Paddington  ph (02)9380 5996
http://www.lucios.com.au

Pendolino 412-414 George Street  Sydney  ph (02)9231 6117
http://www.pendolino.com.au

Buzo 3 Jersey Road Woollahra  ph (02)9328 1600
http://www.buzo.com.au

Via Alta, 197 High Street, Willoughby, Ph (02) 99581110
http://www.viaalta.com.au

Pilu at Freshwater Moore Road Freshwater  ph (02)9938 3331
http://www.piluatfreshwater.com.au

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