Vodcara Delevingatoni

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

While I haven’t known Cara Delevingne for as long as some of the friends I’ve featured here, she is probably one of my best friends. Scrap that, is.

Given we’ve both got such busy schedules, Car and I don’t always get to spend as much time together as we’d like but when we do it is damn near perfection. Like that time I partied with her, Paris Jackson and Macaulay … which I can’t talk about. I’ve said too much.

As you know, we met during the filming of Anna Karenina when I was visiting Kiz and Az but what I didn’t mention is that we bonded over our close relationship with the Collinses. You see, my dear(ly departed) friend Jacks’ big sister Joan is her godmother and when you’ve got the Collinses as mutual friends, you’re destined for a beautiful relationship.

I made quick work of convincing her she could do better than bit roles in Kizza star vehicles, watched her bounce from Paper Towns to Pan and into the acting A-list with Suicide Squad. To say I am filled with pride is an understatement.

After catching up on each others’ lives since we last hung – I can’t confirm whether she and Paris Jackson are dating … but I also can’t not confirm they’re dating – and reminiscing about the good old days, I delighted her by whipping out a majestic and decadent Vodcara Delevingatoni.

 

 

Does anyone need something this rich, carby and heavy after the insanity that is Easter eating? No. But does anyone actually need anything? Yeah, confusing, inception … I’m on a high from this Carbone copycat of perfection and I can’t think.

Don’t judge me, don’t look at me … just enjoy!

 

 

Vodcara Delevingatoni
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
3 onions, sliced
100ml water
150g butter
2 tbsp kosher salt, plus extra
1.6kg canned crushed tomatoes
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups thickened cream
3 tbsp chilli paste
¼ cup vodka
500g rigatoni

Method
Combine the onion and water with 100g butter and a pinch of salt in a large skillet over low heat and cook for half an hour or so, or until softened but not coloured.

Combine the two tablespoons of salt, crushed tomatoes, raw caster sugar and olive oil in a saucepan and simmer for ten minutes, or until combined and slightly thickened.

Cook the rigatoni as per packet instructions.

Combine the tomato and onion mixture in a large saucepan with the cream, chilli, vodka and remaining butter, and cook, stirring until the sauce comes together and is cooked through.

Drain the pasta, add to sauce and stir to combine, adjusting seasonings as required.

Devour.

 

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My enchanting friend

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After dedicating the last week to celebrating one of my oldest friends Megs – and reviving her career via an egg-based ritual – I decided I needed to reach out to one of my younger gal-pals to try and give me a spark.

So I was extremely grateful my girl Cara Delevingne was free for a date.

Despite already being a successful model and therefore mingling in the same circles, I didn’t meet her until her film debut in Anna Karenina. I was visiting Keira and Aaron but was in awe of her talent and encouraged her to take acting more seriously.

What says you’re welcome for making you famous slash so good to see you, girl?

Image source: Antonio De Moraes Barros Filho / Getty Images.

 

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Egg Yoko Raviono

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Main, Pasta

After a busy and ritualistically labour intensive week catching up with Megs, Shirley, Gabs and Alan, I’ve finally arrived at the crescendo with my hero Yoko Ono.

While most people incorrectly attribute her with breaking up The Beatles – instead of male egos etc. – she is a talented artist, singer, songwriter and general multi-hyphenate, and I hate the hate she so often gets.

Plus – as a peace activist, we need more people like her in the world.

I gave her a call last week to see if she was up for the honour, and while she was confused about what a Meggstravaganza was – or even Meg, for that matter – I had her at shamanic ritual. We obviously met through John, but fast became friends in our own rite with me becoming her de facto muse.

After a quick stint reconnecting and catching-up about our current artistic endeavours – FYI, Bed-In Brisbane is likely to happen soon, we threw on the ritualistic robe for the last time this year and got to work sacrificing my Egg Yoko Raviono.

 

 

Using the still fresh Alan Pastarkin, this egg yolk raviolo is near perfection. Melting cheese and delicately cooked yolk, ensconced in perfect pasta … with burnt butter, sage and prosciutto? I’m in heaven, as you will be after you make it. Plus – it looks difficult but is super easy, so what is there to lose?

Enjoy!

 

 

Egg Yoko Raviono
Serves: 4

Ingredients
1 batch of Alan Pastarkin
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
8 eggs, separated
6 slices of pancetta, cut into strips
150g unsalted butter
sage leaves, to taste

Method
Combine the ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Lay out your sheets of pasta – they should look like long, thin lasagne – and cut them into large, even squares.

Divide the cheese mixture between 8 pieces of pasta, forming into a neat mound in the centre. Top with an egg yolk and cover with a remaining piece of pasta, push out any excess air and sealing to close. Transfer to a piece of baking paper.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and heat a frying pan over medium heat. In the frying pan, cook the pancetta until crisp and delicious. Add the butter and – I advise – a shit tonne of sage leaves, and cook until crisp and fragrant.

When the water is rollicking, add the ravioli and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they float and the cheese is melted but the yolk is still runny.

Serve immediately, drowned in butter, pancetta and sage and devour. Giddily.

 

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Alan Pastarkin

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Pasta

After kicking things off with Megs, a drop-in from the delightful Shirley Bassey and catching up with Gabourey Sidibe yesterday, I’m thrilled to arrive at my favourite day of the Meggstravaganza – seeing a shockingly still living legend. And no tea no shade … but there is no one more worthy of the honour than my dear Alan Arkin.

While we didn’t meet until relatively late in his career, we’ve grown to become the best of friends. Making it so exciting every time I realise he isn’t close to death.

I first met Al on the set of Edward Scissorhands through my gal-pal Winona, but we didn’t solidify our relationship until the best-friend party that became Glengarry Glen Ross with Jack, Al Pac and Alec Baldy. After that, I was hooked and I made it my duty to become his muse.

My crowning achievement, obviously, was convincing him to join Little Miss Sunshine and finally snagging him an Oscar.

He was thrilled to drop by and see me again, particularly when it came with a side order of helping a fellow thespian make a good comeback. I ran straight into his arms as soon as I saw him at the arrivals gate and don’t think I let go until it was time to pop on our Meggstravaganza robes and make some Alan Pastarkin.

 

 

Making pasta at home is probably the easiest thing you’ve been too terrified to try. And let me promise you, it is so worth the effort. Which is minimal. Light, delicate and fresh – it is perfect for any and all occasions.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Pastarkin
Serves: 1-.

Ingredients
400g 00 flour, plus extra for dusting
4 eggs
salt, to taste
*So yeah, basically to make pasta 1 egg to 100g of flour, ok?

Method
Chuck the flour and eggs into a food processor with a pinch of salt, and blitz until a dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Form into a disc, wrap with cling and leave to rest for an hour. Oh, at room temp, FYI.

When you’re ready, cut the dough into four and working one at a time, feed it through a pasta roller, working from the thickest to thinnest, dusting with flour as you go. Fold in half and the half again, then feed through the shortest end at the widest setting and work to your desired thickness.

Once it is at your desired consistency, cut to shape – if required – and cook immediately. Or devour raw like us. Though don’t, because of food poisoning.

 

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Gaberry Soufflibe

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After a hint of Megs and a dash of Shirls, we’ve arrived at the televisual stardom section of my egg-based ritual. And based on her successful post-Precious TV career with The Big C, American Horror Story: Coven through Hotel and Empire, my girl Gabs Sidible was the only person worthy of joining me for day three of this year’s Easter Meggstravaganza.

I’ve known Gabs for years after meeting on the set of Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. I was there visiting my part-time lover Lenny Kravtiz and was immediately drawn in by her performance and vowed to make her a star, and get her an Oscar. While she was robbed by my frenemy Sandra Bullock – she should have been robbed by Meryl instead – she never held my inability to bring Bullsy down against me.

Given how busy I’ve been being Miley and the sort, and she is still hard at work on Empire, Gabs and I haven’t had the chance to catch-up in a while. And let me tell you, it was such a treat to see her again.

She was not only so excited to see me again and reconnect, but also help bring Megs the renewed fame she deserves. We laughed, we hugged, we plotted my way into American Horror Story and finally put on our ritualistic robes and devoured a Gaberry Soufflibe.

 

 

Don’t let the terrible photos scare you – the air conditioning really did a number on them – these babies are damned near perfection. Light, sweet and full of berrylicious tang, it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Or off, TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gaberry Soufflibe
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup raw caster sugar
100g blueberries
100g raspberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornflour
2 egg whites
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the ¼ cup of sugar, berries, vanilla and cornflour in a saucepan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for five minutes or so, or until broken down and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to rock and or roll, place the remaining sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold through the berry mixture and pour into 6 small ramekins, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or until risen (like Megs’ career, yo).

Dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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Megg Nog Ryan

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Drink

Now in it’s 14th year – and the fourth one that is being documented on this anthropological patch of cyberspace – Megs and I assumed the ceremonial cloaks and get straight down to whipping up an eggy sacrifice to give her career new life.

We were both so hopeful that last year was going to be her year after her directorial debut Ithaca, but it didn’t register a blip on the Oscars radar and no offers rolled in despite another potential employment stream.

“Ben, bless you! We don’t need to keep going until the shaman’s ritual limit of 15. I’m happy with where and I, and knowing how fiercely you love me is more than enough to keep me going.

“You’re my prize Ben. You’re my A-list.”

Like, of course I am, duh … but seriously, how sweet is Megsy? That is why I’ve persevered to get her back on top like Tyra. Not to be confused with the other (shit) Tyra.

Anyway, we donned our ceremonial cloaks, headed to the kitchen, chanting the incantation and kicked things off with a boozey, chill Megg Nog Ryan.

 

 

While I will agree that Egg Nog is a festive drink, I would argue that there is nothing more festive or important than the Meggstravaganza. Spiced and potent, there is no better way to summon the spirits of the Hollywood Gods … and dull the pain of Monday.

Enjoy!

 

 

Megg Nog Ryan
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 eggs, separated
⅓ cup raw caster sugar, plus an extra tablespoon
2 cups milk
1 cup double cream
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup bourbon

Method
Beat the egg yolks in a stand mixer with the ⅓ cup sugar until completely dissolved and glossy. Set aside.

Meanwhile combine the milk, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk half a cup of the mixture into the sugary yolk. Once combined and free of curdling, slowly whisk back into the warm, milky mixture and cook over low heat until the mixture reaches 70C. Remove from heat, whisk in the bourbon, cover and transfer to the fridge to chill.

When you’re ready to serve, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold through the yolk mixture until well combined. Transfer to glasses, sprinkle with some extra nutmeg and down. Until everything feels groovy. Because I’m now in The Brady Bunch, it seems.

 

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City of Eggles

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I was pretty whiny about last year’s Meggstravaganza and while my dear friend MegsMegs, Megs – would never say it, I feel like my attitude tarnished the annual egg based ritual and stopped it from working.

While it is an exhausting, laborious process, I love Megs and I would do anything to see her succeed. And that is what I need to remind myself.

Plus, she reminded me that the ancient shaman we consulted said we could only give it 15 attempts, lest we want to have the ritual completely backfire. That means this is our second last attempt and I need to make it count.

With that, buckle up as I assemble Megs, a struggling musician, a successful TV star, a shockingly still living legend and a hero, to complete the ritual and save our world.

Because at the risk of sounding like a broken record, a world without Meg headlining a movie is a world in need of fixing.

Welcome to the 14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza – City of Meggles!

Image source: Screencap from The Craft.

 

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Marcia Hot Cross Buns

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Sweets

With Easter just around the corner, I started thinking about all the wonderful back-from-the-dead – or brink of – performances to ever grace the small screen and it reminded me how long it had been since I caught up with my dear friend Marcia Cross.

While much has been made about it in the media, I was not not the inspiration for the role of Kimberly Shaw in Melrose Place. I was just brought in to coach Marcia to peak craziness. We worked together day and night for months, and that close working relationship quickly developed into a deep and beautiful friendship that no questionable casting choices – I see you Quantico – will ever destroy.

Marcia and I are such wonderful friends, but since we’re both so successful and busy it makes it hard to maintain the day-to-day aspects of friendship, so it was such a treat to make the time to hang out and toast to the future.

Despite the fact she only has Quantico keeping her busy compared to the multiple pies I have my hands in. Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, easter is the time for miracles etc. so Marsh and I made it work, plotted a return to the A-list – for both of us – and devoured in a shit tonne of Marcia Hot Cross Buns, as is the style of the season.

 

 

Spicy, soft and packing a punch – not to measure a shit tonne of delicious fruits – these make the perfection that is Hot Cross Buns even better.

Not convinced? Make them for yourself … and enjoy!

 

 

Marcia Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
14g dried yeast
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
¼ cup muscovado sugar
4 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for crossin’
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup sultanas
½ cup raisins
1 cup craisins
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder

Method
Combine the yeast, milk and muscovado sugar in a jug and set aside in a warm, dry place until it is foamy and glorious.

Meanwhile combine the flour, spices and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub through the butter with your fingertips until it resembles dirty sand. Add the fruits, eggs and foamy yeast mixture, and knead in a stand mixer for five to ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Knock the dough back, shape into 12 balls and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving 5cm apart. Cover with some cling and allow to prove for another half an hour.

Combine the extra flour with the baking powder and ¼ cup of water. Spoon crosses over the buns and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 150°C, rotate the pan and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving, slathered in a shit tonne of butter.

 

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Viola Halvis

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather

Once again, I’ve reached the end of my Oscar Gold celebrations and no tea no shade to Diablo, Henry, Kathryn, Brad or Mahershala, I’ve well and truly saved the best to last – current reigning Best Supporting Actress, Viola Davis.

And that is not just because we’ve been the best of friends for 17 years. She is the only Black Actor to win the Triple Crown of Acting, and that makes her long overdue for some coverage on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Viola on the set of Kate & Leopold when dropping by to visit Megs (Megs, Megs) and Liev, and while she only had a bit part I knew she was destined for greatness. As such, I sidled up to her at the craft services table and promptly hitched my wagon to her, to achieve greatness by association.

While I also wasn’t able to convince her to bring me along as a date, she did have a surprise up her sleeve … she convinced one of our mutual friends to take me (let’s call her Beryl Strap)!

Anyway, I could talk about her being the only good thing about Fences, slaying in How to Get Away with Murder and realistically should have a couple of Oscars under her belt by now, that isn’t what you came for. You came to hear our opinions on who will snag the female acting gongs.

While we both agree that my dear friend Allison Janney will succeed her as Best Supporting Actress for I, Tonya, I desperately wish for a tie between her and fellow TV star Laurie Metcalf who was beautiful in Lady Bird. What is becoming a tradition in this year’s acting categories, we both feel Frances McDormand is a sure thing for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I feel like fellow Gold Coaster Margot Robbie gave the better performance in  I, Tonya and am desperately hoping for an upset.

Like my date with Mahersh, I started to feel down thinking about Margot likely not snagging a win for Karl and Susan. That led to the requirement for something sickly sweet and totally delightful, like my Viola Halvis.

 

 

While there are so many forms of halva, this is obviously the best. Rich and nutty, delicate and floral, all wrapped up in a sickly sweet package, it is the perfect way to honour the ninetieth Oscars and Faye and Warren’s inevitable mis-crowning.

To The Goldfather, enjoy!

 

 

Viola Halvis
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g walnuts
250g blanched almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
500g pitted dates
1 tbsp rosewater
icing sugar, to dust

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the nuts and sesame seeds on a large baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or so, or until toasted and fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.

Place the cooled nuts in a food processor with the dates and rosewater and blitz for about five minutes, or until completely combined.

Pour the mixture into a lined small baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to set for an hour or so. Then remove and cut into squares, dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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Portia de Rosti

Breakfast, Side, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Portia is such a delight. I mean, if I could catch up with her every week I would. But tragically, that would make for a really boring slash even more niche patch of cyberspace, featuring only Porshie recipes.

But she is just so damn smart and kind, and I love her. Sue me.

As you know, I’ve known Porsh and Ells for years – fun fact, I was both of their Man of Honor at their wedding – but given their insanely busy careers, it is always hard to pin them both down at the same time.

“Ellen sends her love, obviously! She still wants to get you a cooking show. Why won’t you take her up on the offer?”

While the answer is obviously off the record, I am too much of a wallflower at this time … and am trying to play competing offers against each other.

Anyway empire building aside, it was such a joy to see Porshie again, catch-up and desperately try and get intel on the upcoming season of Santa Clarita Diet. While she didn’t open her mouth to spill the tea, she did open it to down some Portia de Rosti.

 

 

Velvety smooth and creamy on the inside, golden and crisp on the outside, rosti are probs one of the top ten ways to enjoy the majesty that is potato.

Do you need me to say more? Just enjoy, damn it!

 

 

Portia de Rosti
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes, washed
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup parmesan, grated
salt & pepper, to taste

Method
Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Once rollicking, reduce heat to medium and boil the potatoes for 10 minutes or so, or until cooked through but still firm. Drain and allow to cool completely.

Once chill, grate the potatoes and place in a large bowl with the butter, parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, add the potato mixture and press down to form a firm patty. Cook for ten minutes or so, or until golden and crisp. Flip the rosti and cook for a further 10 minutes until crisp and cooked through.

Remove from the pan, slice and devour immediately. Preferably with a kilo of bacon.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.