The Paris issue

Our October issue is on sale - the Paris special. Grab your copy for all-things Parisian, plus ultimate French baking recipes and more.

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Seven ways to do dumplings

Dumplings may be bite-sized, but they pack a flavourful punch. Here are seven mouth-watering recipes, from Korean mandu to classic Chinese-style steamed dumplings.

Best feta recipes

Feta's tang livens up all sorts of dishes, from beef shin rigatoni or blistered kale ribs to Greek-style roast lamb neck.

Recipes with zucchini

Whether served raw with olive oil, grated with fresh herbs, or pan-fried in a pancake - zucchini is a must-have ingredient when it comes to spring cooking.

Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie, Melbourne

Here’s Pickett’s inside running on the menu at Melbourne's new European-style eatery and wine bar Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie.

Apfel kuchen

"This is my mother's famous apple cake. The apples are macerated with sugar, cinnamon and lemon, and this lovely juice produces the icing," says Brigitte Hafner. The apples can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge. This cake keeps well for four days and is at its best served the day after it's made."

Nougat, salted peanut caramel and milk chocolate tart

What's not to love about a Snickers bar? All the elements are here, but if you don't feel like making your own nougat, you could always scatter some diced nougat in the base of the tart instead. The caramel is dark, verging on bitter, while a good whack of salt cuts through some of the sweetness - extra roasted salted peanuts on top can only be a good thing.

Melbourne's best late-night bars

As the shutters come down in other Australian capitals, Melbourne's vibrant nightlife is just hitting it's stride. Michael Harden burns the midnight oil at the city's best late-night bars and diners.

Tokyo eating guide

Whether it's yakitori or yakiniku, sushi or soba, dress down for ramen or dress up for kaiseki, chef Michael Ryan has every meal covered in the Japanese capital.

The cheat: fresh pasta

Whole, sliced or cut into rounds, sheets of fresh lasagne are the answer when you crave a fix of egg pasta but lack the time to prepare the dough.

Let's get this straight (or wiggly or tubular or whatever shape you prefer your pasta) - we have equal love for fresh and dried pasta. Neither is better than the other; they each have their place in the kitchen.

There's a lot to be said for the convenience of dried pasta - and it's often the best choice with robust sauces. Sometimes, though, the only thing that satisfies a pasta craving is the silky texture of fresh pasta. Although it's not difficult to make, it is time-consuming - all that kneading, resting, rolling and folding. Thank goodness, then, for the increasing availability of great commercially produced fresh pasta (although we recommend avoiding the mass-produced stuff, which can have a tough, thick texture).

There's everything from fettuccine to gnocchi, pillows of ravioli and half-moons of tortellini but, for our money, we love the versatility of fresh lasagne sheets. They can be cut into whatever shape you like - tear them into rough rags of stracci or slice into strands of angelhair. Cut out rounds or squares and stuff them with all manner of fillings or take those same fillings and roll them into cannelloni. And they make for a much quicker lasagne than dried sheets, so layer them with ragù and béchamel, or spinach and ricotta and a simple sugo. Who said midweek dining had to be boring?

Pine mushroom and silverbeet brodo with stracci
Serves 4
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 thinly sliced leek, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and the finely grated rind of 1 lemon and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add 1.5 litres chicken stock, 2 thyme sprigs and 1 fresh bay leaf, and simmer until well flavoured (10-12 minutes). Add 4 thickly sliced pine mushrooms and 1 cup torn silverbeet leaves and simmer until just tender (1-2 minutes). Blanch 200gm fresh lasagne sheets, torn or cut into rough pieces, in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (2-3 minutes), add to soup, discard thyme and bay leaf, season to taste and serve hot scattered with extra thyme and chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Gnocco fritto with prosciutto and goat's curd
Serves 4 as a snack
Pound 1 tsp sea salt, ½ tsp thyme leaves, a few black peppercorns and the finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon using a mortar and pestle and set aside. Cut 200gm fresh lasagne sheets into rough 5cm-6cm squares. Preheat 3cm vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and deep-fry pasta squares in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels, season with thyme and lemon salt and serve hot topped with thinly sliced prosciutto, a dollop of goat's curd and finely grated parmesan.

Crostoli with honey mascarpone
Serves 4
Cut 200gm fresh lasagne sheets into rough strips about 2cm x 8cm. Heat 2cm vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and deep-fry pasta strips in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper towels, dust heavily with icing sugar and a pinch of ground cinnamon while still hot and serve alongside an espresso, or with a bowl of honey mascarpone (whisk 200gm mascarpone with 50gm honey, or to taste, and scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean until smooth).

Spinach and ricotta tortellini
Serves 4
Blanch 1 bunch trimmed spinach until just wilted (30 seconds), drain, refresh, then drain well and squeeze out excess water. Process in a food processor with 300gm firm ricotta, 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, grated rind of 1 lemon, 1 chopped garlic clove and a pinch of nutmeg. Cut out 6cm-diameter rounds from 500gm fresh lasagne sheets, place 1 tsp of filling in the centre of each, brush edges with water and fold over to form a half-moon, pressing edges to seal. Cook in a saucepan of boiling salted water until they float (3-4 minutes), drain and serve with your favourite sauce (we like burnt butter and parmesan or light sugo).

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