Bianca Canacichi's time working at a publishing company surrounded by great cookbooks could have whetted her appetite for cooking but her main source of inspiration is closer to home. She moved to Australia from Romania with her family as a child and says her connection to the kitchen comes through her mother.
700g flat beans (Italian flat beans)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
800g canned diced tomatoes
2 handfuls chopped parsley
Pinch granulated sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra chopped parsley, to garnish
"My mum's got an old recipe book and it's all stained and tattered but she's still got that around, so she pulls it out every now and again and I watch her cook," says the 31-year-old.
She cites her mother's flat bean dish, with its rich mixture of beans, caramelised onions and parsley, as a favourite. "It's always a fixture at family dinners," she says. "It's comfort food really."
Trim and wash beans, cut into thirds. Heat oil in a large heavy-based pan and gently fry onion and garlic until translucent. Add beans, increase heat and fry 3-4 minutes, stirring.
Lower the heat to minimum, add tomatoes, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir through a little more fresh parsley and sprinkle some on the top.
A fabulous side dish with meat or chicken.