San Remo Fresh Pasta Now Free-Range

SR Fresh Render Range (2 Rows)
South Australian family owned pasta manufacturer, San Remo, has just redeveloped its fresh pasta range, with an overhaul of its fillings.

As regular readers will know, I am a big fan of supporting local business and San Remo is definitely a South Australian success story. Which means it’s great to learn that the pasta now uses free range egg (San Remo actually mills the durum wheat itself) and the fillings are 100% Australian beef and free range chicken.

In addition, there are no artificial colours or flavours and the products are GMO free.

I really wish more food companies would switch to using free range eggs and chicken – and then promote the fact they are doing so – so hats off to San Remo.

San Remo Diamond Dinner

Yes, the sorbet was the best dish, but alas – not the best photograph!

Disclaimer: I attended the dinner as a guest of San Remo.

You may have noticed that my blog posts recently have had a slightly non-Adelaide theme … I’ve just returned from three weeks in the UK visiting family and friends and fitting in a lot of eating and even some blogging. There’s more UK content to come but, before heading away, I managed to squeeze in the annual San Remo Diamond Dinner.

The dinner has become an annual institution: the Diamonds (that’s the Australian netball team) and a group of guests are treated to a meal created by Adam Swanson (Zucca) prior to the start of the Quad Series. This year the meal was held at the National Wine Centre.

The netballers, who are all very tall and listen very patiently to any stories you may have of C grade netballing prowess, are scattered amongst the guests, so everyone feels touched by a little bit of sporting glory. This year I sat next to Mo’onia Gerrard. As she is almost a foot taller than me, I was glad it was a sit down meal!

We started with pasta: torn lasagne sheets with sugo, basil and mozzarella, served in a coffee cup. Adam Swanson spoke a little about the food and this dish was inspired by one his nonna used to cook. Being served in a cup would work really well if you’re tucked up at home on the sofa, but it was a touch tricky to eat sitting at a table.

For main we had a choice between beef and chicken. The chicken was served with preserved lemon risoni so I was really tempted but the beef was sold to me on the promise of crispy gnocchi with burnt butter. How Adam got that past the Diamonds’ nutritionist/dietician I will never know. While the gnocchi weren’t particularly crispy (and with a room of about 100 people to feed that was always going to be tricky) as a dish it worked well. I was particularly interested in the use of the red wine herb butter because compound butters are something I rarely bother doing. Even though the red wine makes the butter an interesting colour, it does lend extra richness to both the meat and any gravy that it meets.

We finished with what was, for me, the best course. The mixed berry sorbet was absolutely excellent. After a big, hearty meal the sorbet, accompanied by fresh fruit and biscotti, was the perfect weight, but the mixed berries ensured it packed in a lot of flavour. It wasn’t just me that loved it – pretty much everyone was smacking their lips and oohing and aahing.

It was also a great opportunity to catch up with some other Adelaide bloggers: Debbie from dbites, Erin from She Cooks, She Gardens and Amanda from Lamb’s Ears and Honey. Blogging is not an inherently sociable kind of activity so actually talking to fellow bloggers, in the flesh, is always great!

Adam Swanson’s menu obviously did the trick, as the Diamonds won the Quad Series. All I need to do now is work out how to get my hands on the recipe for the mixed berry sorbet …

San Remo Diamonds Dinner

Australia VS New Zealand
photo by Stanley Yeo

Disclaimer:  I attended the dinner as a guest of San Remo.

Last night, San Remo, one of the major sponsors of the Diamonds, Australia’s national netball team, hosted a dinner in the ballroom at St Mark’s College.  This was in honour of the Wednesday night Diamonds’ match against New Zealand in the current test series.

In addition to lots of sporty types, including the very tall Diamonds themselves, the winners of San Remo’s recent Diamond Dinner were in attendance, as were eight bloggers*, including me, from around Australia.

The evening began with drinks and canapés on the lawn outside Downer House. Despite weather in Adelaide being spectacular over the weekend, yesterday wasn’t quite so warm so we moved up to the ballroom quite quickly. I was sitting next to Diamond Laura Geitz and Stephanie Greene, the CEO of Netball SA. For someone whose PE reports used to read “Alexandra tries hard” this was pretty scary stuff! But thankfully most of the talk during the evening was on the food. Naturally, pasta was dominant!

The menu had been put together by Adam Swanson and had a very personal, family focus for him. The dishes were all ones he’d grown up eating and even the bread and incredible olives that were on the table were a family affair.

We started with a prawn cocktail served with angel hair pasta. This was a bit different because the pasta was served cold. I know that if I tried to serve cold pasta like it would stick together in one pasta like lump, but Swanson had no such problems. For main course, we had a choice of barramundi with pea and dill risoni or pork and veal polpette with ragu and bucatini. I chose the polpette (Adam’s nonna’s recipe) – this was quite possibly the largest plate of pasta I’ve ever seen! I made sure I ate my way through the tasty meatballs but was, unfortunately, defeated by rather a lot of the pasta.

Dessert was a perfect foil to the rich main course – a simple plate of fresh fruit served with blood orange gelato and almond bread. Now I’d describe myself as someone who really doesn’t like orange so this is something I’d never order, left to my own devices. But the blood orange gelato was amazing – tart, creamy and sitting perhaps more on the lemon end of the citrus scale than orange – and sat really well with the strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, rockmelon and watermelon. I would have been quite happy just having the gelato!

The evening wrapped up quite early – the Diamonds had only just flown in from Perth and have a big day of preparation today before their match tomorrow night. And I just needed to go home and snooze of that huge plate of pasta …

*The bloggers were: Lucy from Diminishing Lucy, Kelly from Be a Fun Mum, Sarah from Ah the Possibilities, Emily from Fuss Free Cooking, Catherine from Adventures with Kids, Cheri from Ms Critique, and, last but not least, Debbie from Adelaide’s own d bites.