After the exertions of the weekend – there was another trip to the Stairway of Hell this morning – a hearty meal was in order. Pasta e Fagioli, something I would normally eat in winter here in Sydney, had been brought to mind by a recent blog entry by one of my favourite food bloggers and that is what I was craving.
Many of my friends have had fairly negative responses to the idea of beans and pasta combined. But once they try it, the response always is the same: “Can I have the recipe?” (and please see the recipe in Rachel’s blog – it will save me typing it!) It has a hearty warmth and solidity about it, but is lighter than a more traditional English stew or roast. As the winter in Sydney doesn’t really hit the finger-tingling lows that can be experienced in other parts of the world, that can only be viewed as a good thing.
It also reminded me of one of the things that I adore about Australia. Food here still has a seasonality which means that availability and pricing reflect what is fresh and abundant. I suppose that some of it is to do with the desire to protect their borders from pesky invaders, which could damage crops and potentially livestock, that has led to the (wise) limiting of the food and plants allowed into the country. Whatever the reason, it works for me and is a useful reminder that every food type should not be available all year round. Whilst I can’t claim to be totally strict about what I purchase, it does make financial and taste sense to buy what is in season locally.
So, although not really a food designed for the warm and sultry Sydney summer evenings, it still tasted fantastic and hit the spot. And all helped along by a glass or two of a rather nice local wine: a Sauvignon Blanc from the Saddler’s Creek winery in the Hunter Valley.