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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. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

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.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Country-style feta and pasta fillo pie


You'll need

50 ml olive oil 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced 400 gm silverbeet, stems thinly sliced, leaves coarsely chopped Finely grated rind of 2 lemons 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dill 3 spring onions, thinly sliced 2 tsp dried mint, plus extra for dusting 400 gm dried penne 150 gm Greek feta, coarsely crumbled 9 fillo sheets 80 gm butter, melted For scattering: sesame seeds To serve: Greek-style yoghurt and chopped salad

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic and silverbeet stems, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Add silverbeet leaves, season to taste, stir occasionally until wilted (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, add lemon rind, set aside to cool slightly. Stir through parsley, dill, spring onion and mint.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (7-8 minutes), drain well and return to pan. Add silverbeet mixture and feta, stir to combine.
  • 03
  • Lay a fillo sheet on a work surface (keep remaining fillo covered), brush with butter and fold in half widthways, then brush top with butter and place in base of a 24cm-diameter springform cake tin, buttered side up. Repeat buttering and folding fillo sheets and arrange around sides of cake tin, overlapping and allowing pastry to overhang sides. Fill with pasta mixture, piling high, then fold in pastry, brushing with butter as you go. Brush top with butter, scatter with sesame seeds and extra dried mint, season to taste and bake until golden (45-50 minutes). Cut into wedges with a serrated knife and serve hot with lemon wedges, yoghurt and chopped salad.

Pasta encased in buttery, flaky layers of fillo pastry - what could be better? At its simplest, this pie's filling is made only with pasta and fetta, but we've added some other Greek flavours to ours. Make sure you drain the cooked pasta thoroughly - penne tends to hold a lot of liquid inside, so give it a good shake or risk a soggy pie. Serve the pie with a crisp chopped salad for a burst of freshness - cucumber, mint, cos and fennel would work well.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Oct 2011

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