The Italian Influence
In this episode Maggie and Simon explore the huge influence of Italian migration on Australian cuisine. Maggie explains how her early childhood led to Italy and a cooking school in Tuscany. Simon recreates some classic Italian dishes and adds a twist and we visit Armando and Maria Matteucci, an Italian couple whose abundant garden and kitchen give us a taste of the Italian food culture that has helped to shape the way we eat today.
From pasta to gelati, tomatoes to octopus – Italian migrants have contributed enormously to our Australian way of life.
Maggie’s love of Italian opera and food is well known and she reminisces about her childhood visits with her family to an Italian restaurant in Sydney where she fell in love with pasta. As a young woman, a life-changing trip to Italy led to her cooking school in Tuscany with Stephanie Alexander and what is now a lifelong passion for rustic, country cooking. Maggie makes pasta and cooks Rotolo di Spinaci – a classic dish from her cooking school whilst Simon creates his own baked version of Eggplant Parmigiana.
We visit Armando and Maria Matteucci, Italian migrants who have lived in Paradise, a suburb of Adelaide for over 50 years who proudly show us their double block brimming with home-grown vegetables, rabbits, olive oil and vino cotto and Maria shows off her cooking with the boast that absolutely nothing goes to waste. In the kitchen again Maggie cooks Focaccia filled with chunks of stracchino cheese and oregano – fantastic eaten hot with drinks, whilst Simon remembers his youth and recreates Lemon Gelati with a bit of basil to give it a real zing.
The Italian Influence – a program that sings the praises of all things Italian!
Recipes: - Rotolo di Spinach - Focaccia - Eggplant "parmigiana" - Lemon Gelati