PASTA made from scratch, homemade mayonnaise – food is certainly no rush job in the Natoli household.
When you are part of an Italian family, it is inevitable that you will learn a thing or two about cooking, and Seven Sunshine Coast’s Rosanna Natoli is no exception.
But while the kitchen has been very much her domain during married life, it is a space she now enjoys sharing with her husband, Joe, the former Maroochy Shire mayor.
“Joe and I have been married more than 20 years. The first 17 years, I did all the cooking, but now he does more of it,” Rosanna said.
The Natolis have had the benefit of learning from some good teachers when it comes to cooking.
“In the early ’90s, we had a restaurant, so I actually learnt a bit about cooking from the chefs,” Rosanna said. “I also worked in hospitality through uni, so I had that side of it as well.”
The Natolis willingly share not only their table but also their knowledge with their friends. An invitation to dinner might also include a lesson in pasta-making.
Although they both cook, Rosanna said she and Joe had slightly different styles.
Waiting to judge the success of the Natolis’ forays in the kitchen are critics Ruby, 9, Mia, 6, and Roman, 3, who may have watched a few too many episodes of My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef for their parents’ own good.
“We put a plate down and they mark us. Ruby will say, ‘You could have done with a bit more height on that, Mum’.”
“It’s almost with trepidation sometimes that you put down a plate.” Fortunately, neither Rosanna nor Joe has been eliminated – yet.
One of the Natolis’ successful experiments of late has been a meringue tower made in the style of a croquembouche.
“The meringue tower was inspired by a TV cooking show where the contestants made a macaroon tower,” Rosanna said.
THIS is the first in our series on celebrity Sunshine Coast chefs. Look out for future instalments.
HOW TO MAKE MERINGUE TOWER
8 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
500 grams of caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 teaspoons cornflour
Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees
Cardboard and white chocolate for tower
Beat eggs and sugar until stiff. Then, bit by bit, add sugar and beat until sugar has dissolved and is no longer grainy. Add vanilla and cornflour, but don’t over beat once added.
Then, using two large spoons shape the meringue mix as desired and place on baking paper. Bake for 45 minutes.
TO ASSEMBLE THE TOWER:
Fold a piece of white cardboard into a cone shape, stick the end down and trim to the desired height. Melt some white chocolate and put into a piping bag, or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off.
Starting at bottom of the cone, place the meringues around the base and ‘glue’ using the white chocolate. When there is a gap that is too small for a meringue, glue in an Easter egg. Continue around the cone until you reach the top.
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