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Il Sapore Siciliano (Typical Sicilian Food and Wine)

Surrounding this peaceful land of orange blossom and citrus fruit are seas full of swordfish and tuna, inspiration for many famous Sicilian dishes: tonno alla cipollata, tuna fried with large quantities of sliced onions; swordfish alla messinese, swordfish cooked in oil with tomatoes, onions, celery, capers and potatoes; and either, with caponata, the sweet-and-sour sauce […]

It’s Cold Outside – Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup Will Warm You Up!

I’m sitting here admiring the view from the dining table at my sister’s farm in Healesville Victoria. The trees are bare and masses of snowdrops and daffodils brighten up the view, a hint of the approaching spring. It’s cold outside, if you live in Victoria you would know what I’m talking about. I should be […]

Tiramisu – why we love it so much!

No Italian restaurant menu is truly complete without tiramisu. Literally meaning ‘pick me up’ in Italian, tiramisu certainly delivers on its namesake every time. Made with layers of coffee and liquor soaked sponge biscuits, mascarpone cream and cocoa or chocolate, tiramisu has the perfect combination of sweetness, creaminess and bitterness all rolled into a dessert […]


  Mandranova is situated in a magnificent part of Sicily not far removed from Agrigento and the UNESCO world heritage site of the Valley of the Temples.  This is a place of ancient history and Mediterranean beauty, where olive trees have been swaying restlessly for centuries, blown by the winds of the Sirocco and Maestrale. […]

VIN SANTO AND CANTUCCI – to dip or not to dip

Is there anything more satisfying at the end of an Italian meal than an almond-studded biscotto (or two  =  biscotti) and a glass of Vin Santo? Hard biscotti become sweet and moist after being dipped for a short period in the sweet late harvest wine.  It’s not dessert, not too filling and just right when […]

Linguini with fresh tomato sauce

I See Red!

Every year in early March we make homemade tomato sauce. This family tradition always brings back childhood memories of my five siblings and myself helping mum and dad to process up to 200 kilos of tomatoes. In the back yard, dad would carefully wrap each bottle of freshly pulped sauce in newspaper and stack them […]