Italian Food – From Australia to Little Italy in Israel

Italian Food on the Go

Italian Food on the Go

Italian Food can be bought around the world but nothing compares  to the meals we ate on our recent trip.  Desserts are always tasty, If you like Tiramisu,  Panna Cota or even a great Gelato which can be found around the world but try one in Florence or Sirmione along Lake Garda and you won’t need to eat for days after.

As a child everyone liked Pizzas not me, then I visited Rome and ate my way through square Pizzas with Zuchinni, Artichokes or Onions with all my favourite Italian Spices Oregano, Rokula – Rocket, or Basil and was hooked.

As for Main Courses Pastas are all the go especially for children whom devour the dish with their favourite sauces such as Nepolitana Tomato Sauce or even additions such as Eggplants, and Green beans with Penne.  Then I discovered Gnocchi but coming across a great Pizza place “SAPORE in San Martino 20 minutes from Verona returning from Venice last year got me hooked. Even my son whom avoids the commercialised versions of Gnocchi here wanted more.

I’ve always had a penchant for Italian food ever since I discovered Grandfathers Moustache in Sydneys Rose Bay or Papa Giovannis an institution in Bondi Beach.  But if your in Melbourne check out any of the places in Carlton Street and you’ll feel like you weer in Italy.

Here in Israel during the Gulf War I discovered Luigis, and the Pera Le Mare in Jerusalem or Little Italy that serve great Kosher Italian Fare. Of course my son favours Spagettim which I treated him to one night in Tel Aviv but any of the branches are popular. Trying Teresa in Rishon Lezion Cinema City is great but their branch in Nes Zionna/Rehovot is best where we celebrate Birthdays.

So if you are near Verona or close to Bussolengo this Summer Check out Paradiso Della Frutta for great fruit desserts on their outside porch or a Great local hangout with a garden for the best meals  and of course my most recent discovery is a Piade from the North at the local Piadeneria.

Heres a Recipe for Gnocchi:


1 kg old potatoes

200gr (max 250) white flour

1 egg (not needed if the potatoes are really old and good)
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg (if you like it)

Boil the potatoes, smash them, until warm mix quickly with flour and egg, form a roll with a finger diameter, cut in pieces, throw the dumpling in boiling salted water and wait as they come on the surface.

Serve with your preferred sauce.

Paradiso Della Frutta 

Via Pastrengo 30 ,

Bussolengo 37012


Tel: 045 7151937 


Via Ponte 55 / a | San Martino Buon Albergo (VR)

Tel / Fax 045 8781791 |

Opening hours

Monday: 18.30 – 23

Tuesday to Sunday: 11.30 – 14.30 | 18 – 23

Friday and Saturday nights the service is deployed in two shifts: 19:21 hours


ISRAEL Teresa Branches

Rishon Le Zion Cinema City

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Foods from Foreign Palates

The foreign foods Australia needs
April 3, 2013
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The Backpacker
Ben Groundwater
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Choripan Bibimbap Shakshuka Esfahan

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Beer food … currywurst. Photo: Penny Bradfield
So I get back to Australia after a long trip away, and everyone’s eating banh mi. Which is fair enough, because banh mi is awesome.

But it’s a bit like the band you were listening to years ago that’s suddenly popped up on Nova. You want to tell everyone, “Yeah, I was eating banh mi years ago. In Vietnam, before it was cool.”

It’s interesting the foreign foods that suddenly become popular in Australia. Kebabs, I guess, were once cutting edge foodstuffs. Spanish-style small plates had their go. Tacos are still de rigueur. Ramen is everywhere. Ceviche is cool. We’re all hungry for sliders.

Ethiopian injera … more please. Photo: Marco Del Grande
But what’s next? What are the foreign foods that deserve their time in the Australian sun? Or at least in the pub?

We could do worse than these…

Currywurst (Germany)

I was eating banh mi before it was cool.
Germans know how to do good beer, and they also know how to do good beer food. Currywurst is simple: just a bratwurst sausage grilled, sliced, then covered in a sweet curry sauce and sprinkled with curry powder. Served with chips it’s the ultimate beery fast food – not sure why it hasn’t made a splash in Australia yet.

Choripan (Argentina)

Choripan is a basic thing: a chorizo sausage (chori) in bread (pan). But then think about the smoky, spicy flavour, and the sauce, the finely chopped chimichurri, and all of a sudden you’ve got the kind of snack you could see upmarket bars peddling to the inner-city masses in no time.

Batata Vada (India)

If you’re the sort – er, definitely not me – who wanders around Sydney at 2am looking for an “Indian kebab”, then this is the snack for you: a spiced potato cake served in a small bread roll with chutney. This Mumbai specialty doesn’t sound like much, but wait till you taste it. The kebab guys would be out of business.

Pork tea (China/Malaysia)

The name is a misnomer, as there’s no tea in this dish: just some hardcore pork bits, cooked in an intensely flavourful sauce that gives it its name. It’s spicy, sweet, porky and delicious. Like many of the dishes mentioned here it can appear to be simple food, but is deceptively complex.

Acaraje (Brazil)

Forget a kebab, or even a banh mi – this is the foreign sandwich of the future. A cake made of black-eyed peas is fried in oil, then split in half and filled with small prawns that have been cooked in their shells in chilli and cashew paste. It’s street food in the beachy Brazilian state of Bahia, and it would work here.

Krokets (Netherlands)

Like currywurst, this is bar food, plain and simple. A good Dutch kroket is a thing of beauty: it’s like the filling from a meat pie has been formed into a cylinder, crumbed and deep-fried. Add a little mustard and all of your drunken dreams have just come true.

Fried liver sandwiches (Morocco)

On the narrow streets of Fez they serve these amazing sandwiches: round bread rolls split and stuffed with a mixture of sausage meat and liver that’s been chopped and fried in spices. These snacks go for about $1 each, and they taste incredible. (Though, admittedly, they may not taste quite as incredible when not surrounded by Fez.)

Soba noodles (Japan)

We’ve got sushi, we’ve got ramen, we’ve got tempura, but there’s still not a lot of love for the delicate awesomeness of soba noodles. Served cold or hot, in soup or dipped in an equally delicate sauce, soba is not for midnight devouring. It’s for – ahem – sober appreciation.

Halim Bademjan (Iran)

How beef and the humble eggplant is cooked to become this pale, molasses-thick soup I have no idea, but the result is delicious. Dusted with spice and served with a huge flatbread, this specialty of Esfahan deserves a go in the cafes of Australia.

Shakshuka (Israel)

This one is already beginning to find its way onto trendy café menus, and with good reason. When I wake up in the morning, the thought of eggs poached in a spicy tomato and capsicum sauce, served with bread, is about the best thing I could picture.

Bibimbap (Korea)

It’s the new nasi goreng! Bibimbap has everything that makes a rice dish good, including egg, chilli paste, mince, and some sautéed greens that you won’t find in any other cuisine. It’s also cooked (properly) in a stone bowl, giving the outer bits of rice a beautiful crunchy texture. I’d eat it every day.

Bobotie (South Africa)

There’s some weird food in South Africa – like a salad made of baked beans, banana and mayonnaise – but bobotie is fantastic. It’s comfort food: a baked casserole of mince, curry spices, dried fruit, and Mrs Ball’s chutney, with an eggy white sauce on top. You wouldn’t exactly expect to see it at Tetsuya’s, but for pub grub it works.

Injera (Ethiopia)

There’s maybe two Ethiopian restaurants in Melbourne, and one in Sydney, but there should be more. It mightn’t be to everyone’s taste, but injera – a sort of sour, spongy pancake – served with wats (stews) could easily find its place on the Australian dining scene. To some it tastes like eating your napkin, but I love it.

Which foreign foods would you like to see become popular in Australia?




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Paella and Passover

Spring it is and the Sun is shining as Passover ends I recollect the events that led to me having a culinary experience with a new friend.

On the 4th day of Passover I’m contemplating how to make this Passover different from other Passovers and I discover someone seeking a host for 2 days.  Feeling generous I decide to invite a Spanish guy over to spend Friday night dinner with my family.  Although I had thought my first stranger on the list should be a young lady whom enjoys children, no one had answered the request and Manuel was embarking on his first trip to the holyland.

I had been out all day forgotten about the request and didn’t expect him to accept the offer even though I returned home unexpectedly late due to heavy traffic with children in tow.  Suddenly before crawling into bed exhausted I check my emails and find the Spainard had arrived to Tel Aviv and wondered how to locate me.

By this time it was 9pm and I was exhausted and felt bad that I hadn’t let him down.  This is the impression a first time traveller should get on arrival to Israel, ready to make amends I decided to quickly message him that the offer to come for Friday night dinner is still open and he can stay overnight to get back to me the following day.

Meanwhile we had plans to see the Bible Lands Museum and its wonderful exhibitions of  Egyptian Mummies and Gold Coins and Jewellery that adorned Cleopatra….

After reminiscing of a time I spent in the Valley of the Queens & Kings(Egypt) and telling my children the story of me seeing Hyroglyphics and Mummies in the British Museum after riding Camels on a 3 dayJourney in the Eilat desert we returned home and discovered that Manuel wanted to meet a typical Israeli family.  Being Passover I forgot to mention this Friday night meal would be different to all other Fridays as we eat Matzah instead of bread and keep Jewish traditions that maybe he is unaccustomed to.  So happy that we were having a guest and spontaneously weary last minute I find myself driving the highway to Azrieli Tel Aviv to meet this stranger with my 2 yr old son in tow.

He was waiting as it took me a while to deep fry some of the food and my children were not in a hurry to help in the kitchen, we conversed on the way when I realised I hadn’t told him we eat only Vegetarian meals on Passover because I do the cooking. Unbeknown to me I was later to discover that it is a Spanish tradition on Fridays to eat Vegetarian fare every week. So I finally understood that the Sephardi tradition of such food on Friday nights has its roots back to the Spanish Inquisition wether the traditions date back 7 generations(as in my husbands family),or the  Sephardim of today come from North Africa or Israel  I have been keeping in step with ancient Spanish traditions.

Manuel was to discover with us the difficulties of being Jewish and shown traditions unfamilar to him.  I didn’t make Matzah Brei (an Ashkenazi favourite) but instead put on Onion Soup with Kneidelach, Deep Fried Matzah Balls, a Cabbage and Corn Salad, Matzah Pizza, Leek Burgers, Beetroot and Prune Salad,Green beans  with Tomato Sauce,and a delicious Matzah Chocolate Cake.

That was just part of our Friday night meal which he devoured happily even though it didn’t include my Passover Seder dishes.

After chatting about his many travels and experiences he has in the Spanish Navy we shared stories of his holidays visiting his parents in Canberra Australia and of my travels Down Under.

The following morning we ventured out early to show him the original ruins of ancient Modiin with my 2 year old son. Showing him the Hubeiza and the Mustard flowers that are used in traditional Druze/Arab cooking I was half tempted to pick enough to make a dish or two out of them.  But after cooking all week with another 3 days of continuous labouring in the kitchen I decided to stick to my traditional Passover dishes.

So having eaten Deep fried Barbunia, My special Yemenite Haroset,Vegetable Soup with my home made Egg noodles, Cauliflower Tempura, Spinach and Cheese Bake and a Trifle that sent my children asking for more (probably cause it was laced with Rum), I’m definately in line for a good rest.

So Manuel discovered what a typical vegetarian Jewish family eat for Passover, missed the Dinosaur Park and went off with his newly bought suitcase from Modiins Azrieli Center as we bid him farewell and wished him happy travels throughout Israel before he returns to Cadiz and is off again to visit his parents whom are stationed in Australia.

My Paella Recipes and Passover Recipes will be posted on shortly.