Vanessa Pike-Russell
Today I joined the Italian community for 'Tutti in Piazza' Italian Day at Crown St Mall. The Mall was transformed into an Italian Piazza with delicious food and Italian entertainment including a parade, singing and dancing.

Available for sale was food prepared by the local Italo-Australian Associations originating from various regions of Italy including pasta, Italian sausage, coffee beans and Italian sweets including gingerbread, nougat and crostoli.

The weather was horrible, however the rain and cold weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of the people volunteering their time and efforts, nor the people eagerly lining up to sample their wares.

My first purchase was some penne with sauce $5. The flavour was mild but tasty. I could sense some lovely olive oil and a hint of garlic in the sauce and it was perfect start to my Tutti in Piazza (Everyone in the Piazza) experience.

Tutti in Piazza, Wollongong celebrates Italian Day with a food festival by you.

Tutti in Pizza, Italia Day, Wollongong Mall by you.

By the time I had purchased some penne, crostoli, viennese biscuits, Italian shortbread, nut praline and chocolate nougat I was drooling over the calzone and flatbread but I was all out of money. Next year I will make sure to visit those stands first!


Tutti in Piazza - Italian Day at Crown St Mall by you.


Italian Gingerbread by you.
HOT CALZONE with Mozarella & Ricotta & Ham

Mondo Piadina Italian flatbread at Tutti in Piazza, Wollongong

Italian shortbread and Torrone at Tutti in Piazza - Italian Day at Crown St Mall by you.


Tutti in Piazza - Italian Day at Crown St Mall by you.

Tea Cup Ride for the kids was a hit.
Teacup ride in Wollongong Mall as part of Tutti in Piazza, Italian Day by you.

One Man BIG Band Enzo Giribaldi

0296109324 0405535364

Mondo Piadina
North Italian Specialties
Edensor Park NSW 2176
Tel/Fax: 02 96109324
Ph: 0297063603 Mob: 0402828883

Italian Style Gingerbread and Nougat
Italian Style Gingerbread, Hard honey bread, Almond toffee, Peanut toffee, Sesame seed toffee, soft homemade nougat, imported crunchy italian nougat, home roasted chickpeas
Mobile: 0408412950

BJ's on the Mall
Vittoria coffee
Shop 1/98 Crown Street
Wollongong NSW 2500
Ph: 02 42280226

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Vanessa Pike-Russell
One of the things I miss most about living in Tasmania (2000-2002) is an amazing little cafe in Moonah called 'Cafe Eva'. It was run by the lovely Eva, a Hungarian friend I met through my husband who had been part of a babysitting ring of parents who would babysit for each other when their children were small. Eva is a larger than life personality who made you feel like you were a guest in her home the minute you walked in her small cafe on Main St. Moonah, ten minutes from bustling Hobart city. Sadly her cafe was sold and became a juice business but Cafe Eva and her famous Hungarian paprika chicken with homemade nockerli or nockedli (a Hungarian version of gnocchi but much smaller pieces) will always be close to my heart.

Chicken Paprikash by
(Image source: Wikipedia Cuisine of Hungary)

Sadly Eva didn't pass on her recipe but I have found one that looks very close to the spirit of the dish that she cooked. The photo comes from Wikipedia Cuisine of Hungary and links to the Wikipedia page for Goulash
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia page for Hungarian Cuisine
(Image source:

Hungarian Paprika Chicken with Nokedli (Paprikáscsirke nokedlivel)
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. shortening, corn oil or lard
  • 3 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 1/8 Tsp. black pepper or whole pepper corns
  • 2 Tsp. salt
  • 4 to 5 lbs. chicken disjointed, use legs, thighs, breast and back for best flavour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 pt. sour cream
  1. Brown onions in shortening.
  2. Add seasonings and chicken, brown 10 minutes.
  3. Add water, cover and let simmer slowly until it is tender. It will smell wonderful!
  4. Remove chicken, add sour cream to drippings in pan and mix well.
  5. To thicken gravy, mix into a paste 1 Tbl. soft butter with 1 Tbl.of flour and stir into drippings.
  6. Add dumplings and arrange chicken on top. Heat through,but do not boil, and serve.

The recipe includes some potato dumplings based on instant mashed potato but paprika chicken wouldn't be the same without some of Eva's famous nokedli (sounds like gnoccheli). A hungarian variety of gnocchi but made in small pearls of homemade goodness which, when coupled with paprika chicken, send you into a state of bliss.

Nokedli (Galuska)

The dough just needs to be lightly combined. Over mixing will make this dumpling blend unworkable.
800g flour
4 eggs
Pinch salt
650ml water
Melted butter or oil

Bring 5 litres of water to the boil with 20g salt.
Beat eggs, water and add to sifted flour and salt.
Combine lightly and push through dumpling strainer with a spatula into the boiling water.
Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon when they rise to the surface of the water.
Roll in melted butter or oil before serving.

In the video it shows the chef using a Spaetzle Maker to form the miniature dumplings by pushing the dough through the holes into the boiling water. I found some Spaetzle Makers on Amazon, below and realised I already have a potato ricer with interchangeable ricer discs that I could use.
Product DetailsFOX RUN POTATO RICER 10"

Eva's paprika chicken was served on a warmed plate with a blanket of nokedli (tiny hand-fashioned dumpling squiggles similar in texture to gnocchi), and the succulent, tender pieces of paprika chicken carefully placed on top and lashings of the amazing sauce covering most of the dumplings and sprinkled with some paprika and dollops of sour cream. Delicious!

More on chicken paprika from Wikipedia:

Goulash is a dish, originally from Hungary, a stew or a soup, usually made of beef, red onions, vegetables, spices and ground paprika powder.[1] The name originates from the Hungarian gulyás (pronounced goo-yash hu-gulyás.ogg listen ), the word for a cattle stockman or herdsman.

So Paprika Chicken (Paprikas) is a variant of Goulash


A slightly similar dish is Paprikas, made only with diced meat. Paprikas is made with chicken, lamb[14], pork[15], calf[16] or goose, sometimes bones included (chicken cutlets or lamb). The meat is covered by a rich, thick creamy paprika sauce. Paprikás is usually made without any vegetables. The diced meat is seared with finely chopped fried onions and paprika, then simmered along with stock or water on low heat.[17] Chicken paprikash is made with whole chicken pieces, legs, thighs, breast and back, onion and paprika, covered and cooked on a small fire, simmered until the chicken is tender, then sour cream and heavy cream is added to the gravy. If two or three tablespoons of paprika powder is used for spice and a generous amount of sour cream or cream (or a mixture of both) is added to the meat in the end, which is prepared the same way as the Pörkölt, it will become what the Hungarians call a Paprikás[18]. Topping the dish with fresh chopped parsley gives the paprikás its special flavour. When making paprikás, a tasty vegetarian alternative is gombapaprikás - mushroom paprikas - where sliced mushrooms are used instead of meat.


  1. June Meyer's Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprika

  2. Answer to the question "Hungarian version of gnocchi - recipe please?" by on Yahoo Answers

  3. Food Safari video featuring the making of Nokedli
  4. Cuisine of Hungary

  5. Recipe Bazaar Nodedli Dumplings
  6. Group recipes Nokedli
  7. Hungarian Food Recipes: Nokeldi-Galuska-Spaetzle

  8. Hungarian nockerli
  9. Goulash place nokedli reference

Chicken Paprika on Foodista
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Vanessa Pike-Russell
I have been cooking with gluten-free flour of late and decided to do some research into baking the gluten free way. I have a young friend (Siobhan) who due to cancer has had to remove gluten and most types of flour from her diet. It makes baking particularly difficult when she visits. Last time I winged it with a buckwheat and pear cake. There weren't many recipes which included buckwheat flour so I just mixed up the pancake mix as per the directions, added the diced pear and organic apple juice and hoped for the best. It wasn't ideal but she was just happy to be baking and have something sweet to eat.

Now that I have a copy of BabyCakes the next time she comes to stay we can make some of the recipes out of this cookbook with my new cupcake trays and pretty patty papers. The book looks great, with scrumptious looking photos of the cakes making me crave them; that's definitely different from the last time Siobhan and I baked together :)
BabyCakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery

BabyCakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery
By Erin McKenna

More details

Forget everything you’ve heard about health-conscious baking.

Simply, BabyCakes is your key to an enlightened, indulgent, sweets-filled future. This is important news not only for parents whose children have allergies, for vegans, and for others who struggle with food sensitivities, but also for all you sugar-loving traditionalists. The recipes in these pages prove that there is a healthy alternative to recklessly made desserts, one that doesn't sacrifice taste or texture. Tweet This
Vanessa Pike-Russell

Last year I was in the cheeses section of Woolworths at Warilla Grove shopping center when I stumbled upon something that has become a vital part of my fortnightly shopping list. I was buying some parmesan cheese for my spaghetti bolognaise and as I was comparing price per 100g of the varieties of grated parmesan I spotted the pizza plus and when I read that it was a blend of my three favourite cheeses I was intrigued. The first thing I tried it on was the spaghetti bolognaise made the traditional italian way. Belissimo! The sharpness of the parmesan coupled with the stringiness of mozzarella and delicious cheddar flavour. It was a hit with everyone and was soon the cheese of choice in our house. It is amazing when grilled, making the perfect cheese and tomato on toast. Absolutely delectable on home made pizzas. Try it yourself. I am sure it will find its way into your trolley from then. Cheese on toast will never be the same.

Perfect Italiano Pizza PlusPerfect Italiano Pizza Plus

A convenient and unique blend of Mozzarella (for stretch), Cheddar (for a bold flavour), and Parmesan (for bite), Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus is a delicious blend of three cheeses that are ideal for your pizzas, sauces and hot snacks.

Cheese [pasteurised milk, salt, cultures, enzyme], anti-caking agent (460), preservative (200). Mozzarella Cheese (70%), Cheddar Cheese (20%) and Parmesan Cheese (10%).

Product of Australia

It comes in either a block of pizza cheese or as grated cheese in a re-sealable bag. Also available in a Pizza Plus light with 40% less fat.

Perfect Italiano website
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Tutti in Piazza - Italian Day at Crown St Mall
Saturday, 30 May 2009 - 9am-4pm
To celebrate Italian Week, Crown St Mall will be transforming into an Italian Piazza on Saturday 30 May from 9am-4pm. Sample food prepared by the local Italo-Australasian Association originating from various regions of Italy including pasta, Italian sausage, coffee beans & authentic Italian homemade gingerbread, nougat & crostoli. Free Cup n Saucer & free jumping castle rides 10am-2pm.
Venue - Crown St Mall

Update: Photos and descriptions can be found at
Tutti in Piazza - Italian Day at Crown St Mall by you.

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Chocolat Factory
Chocolate factory
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Vanessa Pike-Russell
I have just signed up to be a daring cook. What does that mean? Well in a nutshell it is daring to cook a new food every month based on recipes given. You are then to cook the food and take photos and post it to your food blog. I should be able to cope with a once a month deadline and it will be good for me to move outside my comfort zone. photo by mirthful

This month's challenge was to
cook ricotta gnocchi. I think that was what pushed me over the edge from thoughts of 'should I, shouldn't I' to 'Ok, I am DEFINITELY in!'. Why did gnocci elicit such a response? It evokes memories of visiting my cousin Marina and her family (the Annechinis) who owned an Italian restaurant in Port Kembla, NSW Australia. Marina's favourite food of all time was gnocchi and I soon realised why. The Capri taverna had a wonderful chef, Mrs. Dressino, who was the mother of Mrs Annechini's brother in law, Carlo. Every time we visited Mrs. Dressino in Primbee we left full of food. Mrs Dressino always hand make all her pasta fresh each day. Her grandson Ricky (cousin to Marina and I) loved his Nana's lasagne but Marina and I loved gnocci the most.

The recipe for Zuni Ricotta Gnocci comes from Judy Rodgers, named after her restaurant,
The Zuni Café Cookbook.

So now that I have a recipe for ricotta gnocci I have a few challenges- the easiest of which is to source the ingredients. I am a little late to officially start with the ricotta gnocci challenge but I thought it would be a good way to start things off. My mind is filled with thoughts of food styling (presentation, props, keeping the gnocci in similar shapes) but also considering variations (adding an element of colour via spinach or beetroot ingredient) or perhaps keeping to the gnocci recipe and add a splash of colour in the garnish. For some reason I think a ricotta gnocci with spinach or beetroot would be interesting but I think I should use the old adage K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple, Stupid!

RECIPE: Ricotta Gnocci

Source: From The Zuni Café Cookbook
Yield: Makes 40 to 48 gnocchi (serves 4 to 6)
Prep time: Step 1 will take 24 hours. Steps 2 through 4 will take 1 hour.


- If you can find it, use fresh ricotta. As Judy Rodgers advises in her recipe, there is no substitute for fresh ricotta. It may be a bit more expensive, but it's worth it.
- Do not skip the draining step. Even if the fresh ricotta doesn't look very wet, it is. Draining the ricotta will help your gnocchi tremendously.
- When shaping your gnocchi, resist the urge to over handle them. It's okay if they look a bit wrinkled or if they're not perfectly smooth.
- If you're not freezing the gnocchi for later, cook them as soon as you can. If you let them sit around too long they may become a bit sticky.
- For the variations to the challenge recipe, please see the end of the recipe.

Equipment required:
• Sieve
• Cheesecloth or paper towels
• Large mixing bowl
• Rubber spatula
• Tablespoon
• Baking dish or baking sheet
• Wax or parchment paper
• Small pot
• Large skillet
• Large pan or pot (very wide in diameter and at least 2 inches deep)

Videos that might help:

- Judy Rodgers' Gnocchi Demo
- Making Fresh Ricotta Demo
- Making Ricotta Gnocchi

For the gnocchi:
1 pound fresh ricotta (2 cups)
2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 or 3 fresh sage leaves, or a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg, or a few pinches of chopped lemon zest (all optional)
½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about ¼ cup very lightly packed)
about ¼ teaspoon salt (a little more if using kosher salt)
all-purpose flour for forming the gnocchi

For the gnocchi sauce:
8 tablespoons butter, sliced
2 teaspoons water

{ For more instructions visit the daring cooks entry for ricotta gnocchi }

Update: I have sinced flickred aka 'flickr searched' and found some photos of spinach and ricotta gnocci and ricotta and beet gnocci. I guess I will just have to create a trio of gnocci and then decide which type I like the most :)

Evan Kleiman's Gnocci Made With Ricotta and Beets by ExperienceLA
Evan Kleiman's Gnocci Made With Ricotta and Beets by ExperienceLA

Spinach and ricotta gnocci by Elin B
Spinach and ricotta gnocci
by Elin B

And the original,
Ricotta Gnocci 3 by peabirdwoman
Ricotta Gnocci 3
by peabirdwoman
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Vanessa Pike-Russell
Lifestyle channel has teamed up with Bill Granger and are running a competition to win Bill's book 'Feed me now'. Follow the links below to enter the competition and find out more about the Good Food & Wine Show

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Vanessa Pike-Russell
Restaurant and Catering NSW have released their 2009 SOUTH COAST AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE NOMINEES LIST


Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant, Bargo
Kings Chinese, North Wollongong
Mango Moon, Kiama
Mylan Restaurant, Wollongong
Trang Vietnamese Restaurant, Wollongong


Café Lush Pambula, Pambula
Diggies Café, North Wollongong
The Waterfront Café, Pambula


Costa Azzurra Woodfire Restaurant, Fairy Meadow
Josh’s Cafe, Berrima
Red Raven Restaurant, Nowra


Café Parkview, Kiama
Lysanders, Shellharbour
Relish on Addison, Shellharbour
Seahaven Café, Gerroa


Annnabels Café, Ulladulla
Monets Café Restaurant, Batemans Bay
The Starfish Deli, Batemans Bay


Butterfactory Café & Restaurant, Pyree
Millards Cottage Restaurant, Uladulla
Seagrass Brasserie, Huskisson


55 on Collins, Kiama
Bellachara Restaurant, Gerringong
ei8ht, Camden
Eschalot, Berrima
Samuels Restaurant, Thirroul


Little Italy, Thirroul
Merimbula Aquarium & Wharf Restaurant, Merimbula
Panarotti’s Macarthur, Ambarvale
Vaby’s Mediterranean Grill, Picton


ENZO Restaurant, Camden
La bella Vita, Camden
Lorenzo’s Diner, Wollongong
Michael’s Ristorante, Wollongong
Trevi Fountain Restaurant, Nowra
Trio Trattoria, Nowra


46 on Crown Bar & Restaurant, Wollongong
Angelico Restaurant, Leumeah
Lee and Me, Wollongong
Luigi’s Restaurant, Narellan
May’s Restaurant, Dapto
Red Olive Restaurant, Mittagong


Australian Hotel, Nowra
Dry Stone Restaurant, Mimosa Winery, Bermagui
Hungry Duck, Berry
Waterview on the Bay, Batemans Bay


Bon Aroma Pizza, Bulli
Ciao Mediterranean Restaurant & Pizzeria, Gwynneville
Figtree Gourmet Kitchen, West Wollongong
Pizza’s in the Mist, Bowral
Mimosa Rocks Restaurant, Tathra
Sam’s Pizza Restaurant, Warilla


Buffet Fusion Family Restaurant, Shoalhaven Ex-Services Club, Nowra
Lynch’s At Narooma, Lynches Hotel, Narooma
Ocean Beach Hotel, Ocean Beach Hotel, Shellharbour

RELISH @ the Links, Links Golf Course, Shellharbour
Swordfish, Milton Ulladulla Bowling Club, Ulladulla
Zac’s Café & Bistro, City Diggers, Wollongong


Bannisters Restaurant, Bannisters, Mollymook
Elizans of Ulladulla Guesthouse, Ulladulla
Katers Restaurant, Peppers Manor House, Sutton Forest
Ravensthorpe Guesthouse and Restaurant, Albion Park
Windjammers Restaurant, Novotel Northbeach, Wollongong


Centennial Vineyards Restaurant, Centennial Vineyards, Bowral
Crooked River Cafe Wines Restaurant, Gerringong

Stones Restaurant, Eling Forest Winery, Sutton Forest


Addison’s Seafood, Grill & Bar, Shellharbour
Captain Johns Seafood Restaurant, Merimbula
Cargos Wharf Restaurant, Kiama
On the Pier, Batemans Bay
Pickled Octopus, Tuross Head


Ghedia’s Indian Restaurant, Wollongong
Ritzy Gritz New Mexican Grill, Kiama
Ruby’s Country Style Cuisine, Mt Kembla
Turkoise Mediterranean Restaurant, Campbelltown


Murphy’s Bar Grill, Unanderra
Outback Steakhouse, Fairy Meadow
Outback Steakhouse, Leumeah
Tongarra Restaurant, Albion Park


Coconut Thai Restaurant, Wollongong
Jasmine Rice Thai Restaurant, Wollongong
One Thai, Dapto
Raya Thai Restaurant, Helensburgh
Thai Carnation Restaurant, Wollongong
Thai Riverside Restaurant, Nowra


Elizans, Ulladulla Guesthouse, Ulladulla (Comprehensive)
Eschalot Restaurant (Comprehensive)
55 on Collins, Kiama (Limited)
Butterfactory Café & Restaurant, Pyree (Limited)
On the Pier, Batemans Bay (Limited)



On the Pier, Batemans Bay
Ravensthorpe, Albion Park
The Butterfactory Café & Restaurant, Pyree


R & R Catering, Helensburgh


City Beach Function Centre, Wollongong


Novotel Northbeach, Wollongong


Novotel Northbeach, Wollongong
City Beach Function Centre, Wollongong
R & R Catering, Helensburgh
M&B Food and Catering, Bowral
Addison’s Reception Lounge, Shellharbour Tweet This
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Superior Meats on Addison
26 Addison Street,
Shellharbour Village,
02 42977162


Aga Deli

Keira Street
Wollongong, NSW, 2500
Telephone: 02 4225 3109

Gerringong Deli Cafe
Proprietor: John & Somprom Svinos
Tel: (02) 4234 1035
Experience fabulous food, fast friendly service al fresco in the warm sunshine or inside amidst the beautifully timbered ambience of earlier times - Pasta - Fresh Salads - Focaccias - Coffee - Large range of home made cakes and deserts 133 Fern Street Gerringong Illawarra South Coast New South Wales NSW Australia

Keiraville Gourmet Deli

Shop 4/ 207 Gipps St, Keiraville
NSW 2500 Australia
Phone: (02) 4227 2281


null200 Cowper St,
TEL: 42743080
Open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat, 8am-1pm
Photo: Sahlan Hayes

More information

Pianosa Deli
Phone: (02) 4267 1569
Shop 14
284 Lawrence Hargrave Drive


Illawarra Fresh Produce

Illawarra Fresh Produce Wholesalers deliver the freshest fruit and vegetables from our wholesale warehouse in Wollongong NSW direct to your door. We have been supplying chain stores and retailers for many years, with all our experience and expertise we can guarantee you will receive the Class One Quality you expect with prices that you can be happy with.

FREE DELIVERY on orders over $20.00*
We deliver to the Wollongong, Fairymeadow, Towradgi and Corrimal areas on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.
We deliver to the Wollongong, Coniston, Figtree, Port Kembla & Warrawong areas on Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
  • Eggs
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Fruit
  • Juice
  • Oils
  • Pasta/Salad Prepared
  • Vegetables

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