Nico Tortellini

Main, Pasta

Sorry for the delay with this week’s recipe, I am only just coming down from my wonderful week at a private villa with Nico. While it was only meant to be a friendly catch-up between friends, Nico is truly intoxicating … and like Joni Mitchell, I couldn’t help but drink a case of him.

As you know, I first met Neeks through Mich and Corbs on the set of the egregiously shortlived TBL, and while I’d love to say it were his brains and many talents that drew me to him, our sexual chemistry is what brought us together.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for me to see him as the kind, wise and talented individual that he is, and we became friends after being lovers. Which kinda flips Bolton’s rule, no?

Anyway … let’s get to the good stuff. I picked Nico up from the airport, it was hot and humid and we drove to a private villa not far from the scene of the cage-fighting accident with Miley that rendered Annelie out of action on here.

We swam, we laughed and we literally ticked all the boxes. It was, as you would expect, glorious.

When it came to nightfall, we were absolutely ravenous for something carby and glorious, that could easily be eaten off a body Samantha-in-SATC-style. Which meant I obviously went for a Nico Tortellini.

 

 

“It is so thoughtful,” he said as I brought it to the table.

“Creamy, hot and spicy, and packed full of sausage – it is everything this week has been.”

Enjoy!

 

 

Nico Tortellini
Serves: 4-6 … or 2 starved lovers on Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta
½ cup emmental
½ cup grana padano
pinch of nutmeg
1 egg, lightly whisked
salt and pepper, to taste
60 gow gee wrappers
olive oil
6 spicy Italian sausages, excluding your lover’s
3 garlic cloves, minced
small handful mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 cups baby spinach
300ml double cream
½ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method
Combine the ricotta, emmental and grana padano cheeses in a bowl with the nutmeg, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Grab your gow gee wrappers, a pastry brush and a half-filled mug of water. Spoon out a large teaspoon of mixture into the centre of each gow gee wrapper, lightly brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half leaving you with a filled semicircle. Take the two edges and turn them into to each other and press together to form a large tortellini … because I love his large tortellini.

Once they’re all ready, get a big pot of salted water boiling over high heat. When bubbling as aggressively as your chemistry, add the pasta and cook for five minutes, or until they are all floating. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

While the pasta are cooking, heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and push meatball-sized pieces of meat out of the sausage and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they’re all cooked. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the mushies are softening and the kitchen fragrant. Add the chilli, sundried tomatoes, spinach and double cream and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through the parmesan and season well.

Return the tortellini to the pasta pan, pour over the sauce and toss until well covered. Serve immediately, in a bowl, on your sexy lover or both, the latter two after they’ve adequately cooled, ovbi.

Sprinkle with even more cheese – sausage’s best accompaniment – and devour.

 

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Pierogene Levy

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, Vegetarian

Given I am close with the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek, it was extremely difficult to decide who to bestow the honour of kicking off my celebration honouring their return to the screen. But like my girl Hizza Clinton before me, I am known for making hard choices when I need to, so picked up the phone to call the delightful Eugene Levy first.

I mean, it is only fitting that I kicked off the party with Eugene as he is the person I have known the longest. Eug and I first met whilst a part of Second City, Toronto and by a part of, I was his stand in when blocking performances given our eerily similar appearances.

While we drifted apart when I was deported from Canada – and therefore unable to appear on SCTV – we reconnected again in the ‘90s through my dear friend Tars. I was part of her entourage on the set of American Pie to get closer to Chris Klein – it was the ‘90s – but I was so thrilled to see Eug again that I abandoned my lust for Chris, and instead focused on making up for the lost years of our friendship.

Despite being extremely busy with other publicity commitments, he was so excited to come down under and mark season four in culinary form with his dearest friend.

“Ben, you really need to come visit when we’re filming next season. I could see Alexis having a long-lost twin and you have the perfect nature to pull off the role!”

“Eug, my love, I don’t know. I’m super busy at the moment, but it truly makes a lot of sense.”

Now I can’t tell you how that conversation ended for upcoming contractual reasons – hell, I shouldn’t have even mentioned how it began – I can tell you that my v. Canadian Pierogene Levy were the perfect snack to toast season four … and beyond.

 

 

Like Eugene, these babies are the perfect comforting slash celebratory snack. Warm and fluffy, and packed full of carb-y, cheesy goodness, you need to get these in your belly ASAP.

Warm apple pie my arse (… which is another embarrassing story of mine for another time).

Enjoy!

 

 

Pierogene Levy
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg potato
6 shallots, roughly cut
200g ricotta cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Peel and cut the potatoes quarters and place in a saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until just tender, about five-ten minutes depending on their size. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a lined baking tray with the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all the moisture is gone. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes.

When the aggressive heat from the potatoes has gone, mash them until their mostly smooth. Add the ricotta, cheddar, eggs and a good whack of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.

To make the pierogis, place the gow gee wrappers on a clean, dry bench and place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre. Brush the edges with water and press the edges together, pleating as you go … to make them look as flash as a rat with gold teeth. Because, obvi.

When they’re all done, bring a large pot with about 1-inch of water to the boil and steam the pierogis for about ten minutes, give or take, or until they’re cooked through.

Devour, greedily, with sour cream or some hot sauce.

 

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Chilleb McDucklin Dumplings

Main, Snack, Stranger Feasts

How good is season 2, right? I mean, sure, there are always things that disappoint you when you’re expectations are so high – like Rory not ending up with Jess on the Gilmore revival – but Stranger Things has proven it isn’t a one season wonder. While I binged the episodes while catching up with Shan, Mil and Gats, I still won’t be dropping spoilers whilst catching up with the rest of the cast as we barrel towards Halloween. So relax.

Like Gats, I’ve been friends with Caleb for years after working as a consultant on The Lion King on Broadway. While I was swiftly fired after de-anthropomorphising the production and turning it into a gay spectacular – I mean it is set in the Pride Lands, duh – he admired my spirit, and we’ve kept in touch.

While he oft even takes my horrible advice – like when I told him appearing in Shades of Blue would be a good idea – the suggestion that he audition for Stranger Things truly was a career making move, so he still loves me.

Cal has been so excited to be featured on the blog – what a doll – so giddily arrived at my door ready to gossip about where his character will go in season 3 and whether appearing in Shades of Blue again is a good idea. The answer to the latter, obviously, was a big fat no.

While the reminder of that little career hiccup brought up a lot of guilt on my part, little Cal, like he co-stars, didn’t see to harbour any PTSD related resentment. Though with my Chillieb McDucklin Dumplings on the menu, how could he?

 

 

Now I don’t like to play favourites when it comes to recipes, but this is up there as one of my faves. Though I have a mild duck obsession, so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise? Packing – rather than peking – a killer whack of chilli, the cook into perfectly crinkled brains. Then cover them in some chilli? Well my friends, then you’ve go a delicious Halloween blood bath.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chilleb McDucklin Dumplings
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
30 gow gee wrappers
1 large duck breast, skin removed
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp grated ginger
3 shallots, roughly chopped
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
½ cup tamari
¼ cup hoisin
¼ sriracha
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Method
Roughly chop the duck and blitz in a food processor until it is finely minced. Add the garlic, ginger, shallots, coriander and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper, and blitz until well combined.

Line the wrappers out on a dry clean bench and place a teaspoon of mixture in the centre of each. Brush the edges with water, crinkle close and place on a lined baking sheet until done.

Bring a large pot of shallow water to a rollicking boil. Place a lined steamer in and cook for 5 minutes, or until they’re at their brainy best.

While they’re cooking, combine the tamari, hoisin, sriracha and sesame. Once they’re done, toss the dumplings through the sauce and serve, blood splattered.

Devour, like a zombie.

 

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Jonathagnolotti Groff

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Golden Little Pill, Main, Pasta, Snack, Vegetarian

The Grammys are rapidly approaching which means that sadly our Grammy Gold celebrations are about to reach their crescendo but thankfully there are two final catch-ups slash prediction discussions to be had, the latest being my dear friend and part-time lover Jonathan Groff.

Fun fact: I invented the nickname Groffsauce – contrary to popular opinion. You can probably infer how I came up with such a loving name.

Anyway, I am getting way to flustered and a little short of breath.

I first met Jo-Groff while co-starring in Spring Awakening – I should probably mention that Lea Michele is my drag name and I am serving fish, henny girl – and our love blossomed instantly. While I was singing about my mama who bore me, he was boring into …

Again – nevermind. We fell in love, it was beautiful but sadly it wasn’t meant to last. Surprisingly I was mature about the whole thing and agreed that we would make the best of friends.

Given how busy my delicious little Groffsauce has been lately – what with wrapping up Looking, his Tony nominated and Grammy award winning (by way of musical theatre album) performance in Hamilton and the upcoming show Mindhunter – we haven’t been able to reconnect since we last worked together on The Normal Heart.

JoJo was just as beautiful – and dare I say it, saucy – as the last time we hung out and we quickly caught up on each others lives, lamented the loss of Looking, gossiped about the plot of our upcoming film Frozen 2 and ran the odds on who would take over the crown Best Musical Theatre Album crown.

FYI – we are backing Waitress. Or Bright Star. Probably Bright Star.

Despite our indecision about the future winner, we both agreed that my Jonathagnolotti Groff is delicious, even if not served on a named body.

 

jonathagnolotti-groff-1

 

While it has more of an X rated history, the delicate cheesy, mushroom stuffed pockets have a simplistic elegance when slathered in burnt butter and crispy sage.

So yeah, delicious even without the dessert – enjoy!

 

jonathagnolotti-groff-2

 

Jonathagnolotti Groff
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g mixed fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
olive oil
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup ricotta cheese
40 gow gee wrappers
75g butter
20 fresh sage leaves

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat and fry the mushrooms for about five minutes, or until all of the liquid is goneski. Add the parsley and garlic and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat to cool and season.

Once the mushroom mixture is all chill – like I was hoping Jon and I would be, in the Netflix sense obvs – whisk the egg, ricotta and mushroom mixture in a medium bowl, until well combined.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil while you work on the agnolotti.

Lay your gow gee wrappers on a dry work surface and place a teaspoon of the mixture in the centre of each. Brush the edges with water and fold into half moon pockets, ensuring to work out all the air before crimping them shut. Leave to rest until ready to cook.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat, add the sage leaves and cook until crisp. Remove to drain on a paper towel and continue cooking the butter until it is beautifully browned.

Once the water is boiling feverishly, place the past in the water and cook for about five minutes or so, or until it rises to the surface. Drain and serve immediately, slathered in the burnt butter and topped with the crisp sage.

Devour.

 

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Hannah Shapiravioli

Main, Pasta, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the jury convened to berate, question and congratulate the final three before casting their votes, none of which went to our co-runner-up and my future lover Kengel or my dear friend Hannah Shapiro.

While Hannah wasn’t rewarded with any votes by the jury, I was firmly buying everything she was selling during final tribal council. Yes, Adam was successful in convincing the jury that her moves were simply blunders … but they were only blunders in respect to her game.

She made it to final tribal and took risks – like leaving David in until the final four and trusting Kengel to turn on him – eliminated people that she thought would be final three fodder and convinced people to risk their game – Adam included – to save her.

So while she wasn’t able to secure any votes, she played an underrated game and I couldn’t be more proud to call her my dearest friend.

I’ve known Han for a few years now, after meeting in college while studying Professor Dawson’s Survivor course – the student became the master, it seems. After graduating I put her in touch with some comedy contacts I met through my besties Tina and Amy, and she has had the honour of working with Second City, Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade.

Anyway, while she was disappointed to not take out the title – or any votes – I was able to turn her around with a quick pep talk and a generous serving of my Hannah Shapiravioli.

 

hannah-shapiravioli-1

 

It is time for your favourite part, where I liken her game to the dish!

But in all seriousness, Hannah was a soft, gentle soul, that was packed with a punch – deep down – and was able to take over the game without noticing.

Plus – who doesn’t love pumpkin, spinach and ricotta? Enjoy!

 

hannah-shapiravioli-2

 

Hannah Shapiravioli
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
600g butternut pumpkin, diced
lug of olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
60g pancetta, cut into thin strips
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
½ cup basil, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme
⅓ cup verjuice
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g fresh ricotta
250g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
60 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet with a lug of oil, toss to coat and bake for about half an hour, or until golden, sweet and soft. Remove and leave to rest while you get to work on the sauce.

Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan and sweat the garlic for a minute or two. Add the pancetta and fry for a further five minutes. Add in the tomatoes, herbs, verjuice, sugar and a generous whack of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat while you get er’rything sorted.

Get a large pot of salted water on the boil and combine the ricotta and spinach in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Lay out half the gow gee wrappers and divide the cooled pumpkin amongst the pastry, and divide the cheesy spinach on top of the pumpkin.

Brush the dough with water and top with a second wrapper, sealing each parcel to ensure no air is trapped.

When they’re all done, place all the ravioli in the boiling water and cook until they have risen to the top. It should be no more than ten minutes. Drain and add the ravioli to the sauce and return to a low heat for five minutes.

Serve immediately and cover generously with parmesan. Devour, obviously.

 

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, Tumblr and Google+.