On September 8th, twelve Enakers had the chance to experience a complete traditional Italian meal.
Enak Xtra’s hostess and cook, Antoinette Gustini, shared with us her passion for cooking family recipes; her delicious, cooked-from-scratch hearty meal and her favourite childhood memories of food.
As all members gathered around the beautifully arranged table the first dish of the meal was served, the Antipasti. Similar to what we would call appetisers, Antoinette’s shared platter of antipasti included cold cuts such as salami, mortadella and prosciutto and melon; cheese slices of mozzarella, pecorino; pan-fried gnocchi, delightful veggies such as sun dried tomatoes, asparagus and grilled red peppers in olive oil. It is hard to pick a favourite...The Antipasti was accompanied by grissini, the classic crispy Italian bread sticks usually made with simple pizza-crust-like dough and by the crispy, cracker-like flat bread most popular in Sardinia. Also, there was a fiery jalapeño-infused olive oil for the brave ones... Antoinette mentioned that she adores antipasti, and this was indeed a wonderful start for a delicious meal.
|The next part of the meal (Primi,) the first course, included two types of bruschetta. One was a fresh, crunchy, colourful tomato topping over warm rustic bread. The other, a grilled slice of bread topped with olive tapenade, a true umami lover’s dream... These were followed by arancini con mozzarella, deep-fried rice balls with a hot gooey mozzarella surprise hidden within the crispy breadcrumb jacket on the outside. As Antoinette explained, this delightful snack is traditionally made with leftover risotto. So generous were the portions that we could contentedly have stopped there and then. It continued with Secondi or main course, which were just splendid. Baked lasagna is probably the most well-known pasta dish in the world, but Antoinette’s Mamma’s recipe was just divine. So were the plump and delicious beef-stuffed aubergines which Antoinette remembered having cold for breakfast as a child. Accompanying the mains was Contorni or side dish, consisting of a very refreshing salad of finely sliced fennel, arugula and juicy slices of orange. This was a perfect counterpoint to the robust mains.
No Italian meal is complete without a sugary dessert to finish it off. Dolce was a moreish buttery, golden-brown pastry tart filled with rich apricot marmalade served with a dollop of creamy mascarpone.
After dolce, fragrant Italian coffee was served and wonderfully paired with panforte “ strong bread”, a traditional Italian treat similar to fruit cake with toasted nuts, dried fruits and spices.
All in all, this was a memorable lunch, where Enakers experienced a celebration of the pleasures of simple, authentic home-cooked italian food. Antoinette has a real love for Italian cuisine. Her cooking is outstanding and she is a very generous and welcoming hostess.”
"It may be a cliche, but Antoinette was the hostess with the mostest! Difficult to find words to describe the excellent meal and hospitality. Her personal touch was in every bit of the meal served. And to think that she did it all almost single-handedly! Absolutely delicious. Now I know that an Italian meal is more than pizza and pasta!"
Lam Lai Meng
Pranziamo! Let’s Have Lunch
On Thursday 8th September 2022, 12 Enak Members were treated to an authentic Italian lunch, cooked and hosted by our Enak member, Antoinette Gustini. Antoinette shared wonderful dishes from her childhood made with recipes from all over Italy. This was an Italian gastronomic delight rich in pasta, fruit, vegetables, cheese, cold cuts, and sweet treats. We sat around her large dining room table in her home and experienced her passion and enthusiasm for cooking and sharing her food.
We experienced Antoinette’s passion and enthusiasm for cooking and sharing her food and her wonderful hospitality as a hostess.
Thank you to Antoinette, Maria and Rosemary for enabling such a special event to occur.