Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

Pea and ham soup

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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