Friday, September 26, 2014

Festival Italiano in Auckland - this Sunday!

Come along to the Festival Italiano in Newmarket this Sunday, free entry, spot prizes, great food and drinks and music, children area, lots of Italians!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tofu with onion weeds

In spring I post lots of recipes with onion weed, and why not: it is free, delicious, and you can eat the flowers too! This one uses tofu, so you can be doubly good to the earth: no meat, and at the same time you forage and get rid off a weed from the garden!

Wash and chop the onion weed (bulbs, stems, leaves and flowers). In a fryipan sauté the onion weed (but keep the flowers aside for later) with a little vegetable oil, and when it smells good add the tofu cut into pieces. Sauté on both sides then add a tbsp or two (according to taste) of soy or tamari sauce, and a tbsp of lemon juice. Cook the tofu on both sides for a few more minutes, then add a drop of sesame oil (optional) and the onion weed flowers. Serve hot.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sublime Onion Tartlets

This recipe is from my book Savour, it is really easy and the result is guaranteed to make your dinner guests go WOW! All you need is ordinary brown onions (one per person for a main or just half per person for a starter). Peel the onions and boil whole for about 10 minutes (or until half cooked but not too soft) then cut in half horizontally. For every two onions melt about 50g of salted butter in a pan and add 2 to 4 tsp of brown sugar (it depends on your taste). Put the onions, cut side down, into the pan and them place them into individual ramekins (still cut side down. Add the remaining butter. Cover each onion with a disk of flaky puff pastry (your own or bought, I used Paneton) and press down well until you get a 'bowler hat' shape around your onion. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Reverse over a serving plate (or individual plates, they will pop out easily). Serve hot, they are deliciously buttery and fragrant, topped at the table with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena Extravecchio, or with grated Parmigiano, or freshly ground black pepper… or just by themselves! Sorry about the 'orange' photo below, but the time we had dinner it was dark!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quick passion fruit semifreddo

Today is the first day of the Italian Festival Season in Auckland and I am getting ready to go to Andrea Bocelli in Concert! I have been so busy with the Festival that I don't have time to blog, but I can always find time for a super quick dessert! This one is cute and three ingredients: Passion fruit, sugar and cream. Take two passion fruits, cut them in half and scoop the pulp out. Put the shells in the freezer.
Mix the pulp with sugar to taste and let it stand for 30 minutes so that the sugar dissolves, then fold into just enough whipped cream to fill the passion fruit shells. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes then serve.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Sweet NZ image
I like to enter this post for Sweet New Zealand #38, the blogging event open to every one blogging in NZ, and all the Kiwi bloggers living overseas! This month of September is hosted by mummy do it. Click here to enter! And let me know if you are keen to host Sweet New Zealand in October!

Friday, September 5, 2014

I am on TV

Tune in to TV One this Sunday at 11am for the Neighbourhood episode of Oratai, which I will be presenting. And if you miss it you can always watch it on TV On Demand by clicking here
For the readers overseas, I am not sure if you will be able to watch TVNZ On Demand fro your computers, but there is the trailer on FB, just click here to see it.

Season 3 Episode 20 - Oratia

This week Italian born Alessandra Zecchini shows us around her neighbourhood - Oratia a rural community of about two and a half thousand lucky souls on the border between Auckland’s city sprawl and the wild forests and beaches of the West Coast.
We’ll meet a glass artist, born in Greece, who finds inspiration in the myths of her homeland and an Oratia man shares his Dutch mother’s love of the soil.
We’ll join in the celebrations with the Dalmatian community who have made Oratia home for such a long time and a local woman demonstrates her mother’s recipe for a classic French Pate.

Curator Bio:

Alessandra Zecchini is a food writer, stylist and publisher, born in Northern Italy. She moved to Oratia with her kiwi husband, after years spent in London and Tokyo.
Alessandra feels very welcome in her adopted country. “For me, it is a privilege to be both Italian and a New Zealander. I don’t need to renounce my Italian heritage and culture to live in NZ, which is a very accepting society and offers great opportunities for new arrivals to enrich the cultural tapestry of this country. Migrants to Oratia – generations back or more recent - have all brought something to the table that makes this area unique.  I couldn’t be happier to call it home.”


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