Sunday, January 3, 2010

A year of new recipes

2009 was a year in which I baked a lot of cakes and sweet treats. It was fun and my family, friends and work mates very much enjoyed all the creations. I learned how amazing the texture of a cake becomes when butter and sugar are properly creamed. And I learned how to make choux pastry. And lots of other stuff.

But Rahul and I have decided that 2010 is the year of expanding both of our repertoire and so we have made a resolution - no recipe will be cooked twice. We will have to say goodbye to some of our favourite never fail recipes which is a pretty major big call given that these recipes appear on the menu all the time. So please wish us luck.

Tonight we are cooking Penne Norma from The Silver Spoon Pasta Book. Already we have met a new ingredient, ricotta salata, plus the more usual pasta requirements of passata, garlic and eggplant. I had anticipated a struggle to locate this cheese which I'd not seen previously but Norton Street Grocer proved to be amazing and not just in relation cheese - gelatin strips, Birds' Custard Power, Karo corn syrup, walnut oil - I suspect it will be our friend on this cooking journey.

So what is ricotta salata? According to wikipedia ' in addition to its fresh, soft form, ricotta is also sold in three preparations which ensure a longer shelf life: salted, baked and smoked. The pressed, salted and dried variety of the cheese is known as ricotta salata. A milky-white hard cheese used for grating or shaving, ricotta salata is sold in wheels, decorated by a delicate basket-weave pattern.' Rahul reckons it tastes like an Italian feta. Try it.

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