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Multicultural Inspiration from... Italy
I've been very lucky to have grow up with such strong cultural influences and heritage. My mother's side of the family are Italian, as are my father's side. And I've been fortunate enough to have been raised on traditional Italian food and cooking. One of the big things we grew up learning to do was making the passata, or, tomato pasta sauce. My grandparents have done this every year for as long as I've been around, and much longer back that that. One of the other things they've always done has been to make their own salamis and sausages.
So, when Agata asked me to come along to help out at one of her home-made Italian salami workshops, I jumped at the chance to get involved! Agata prepared a few bowls for the class participants, with a big of pork sausage mince.
To the mince, we added pepper...
... fennel seeds...
... and some salt.
Next to be added in were some chilli flakes and paprika of varying degrees of spice, depending on what each individual wanted their salami to taste like.
Mix it all up...
... and leave it to rest for a little while. In the mean time, the lovely Agata explains to the class a little history behind the whole process, and shares what the finished product will look (and taste!) like.
After a relax, a taste and some fresh mandarins from the garden, it's time to get back to work. Agata takes out the sausage skins and explains how they work and where to get them from (the deli, when you buy the mince)...
The sausage machine is plugged in and ready to go, and Agata explains how to stuff the mince into the casing. Once the cases have been rinsed of the salt, pour a little wine through it to lubricate it.
And into the machine with the mince mix, stuffing it gently, but firmly into the casing.
The dirty dishes and empty jars start to pile up...
... and we all gather round to learn to tie them up.
And there you have it! Home-made Italian salami! Ready to go in 6 - 8 weeks!
Have a look at the Amore Cucina website for more classes (including the ones I'll be teaching!) if you're interested :) Buon appetito!