Saturday, 29 July 2006

moscato d'asti morning

A breakfast with Moscato d’Asti is a glorious, glorious thing.
Last weekend my sister, Jo (aka Shamu), was visiting Sydney with her boyfriend, Tom. She flew in Friday night so that we could spend Saturday morning catching up over breakfast before her whirlwind day of visiting friends and family.

I decided to make something special that we could all enjoy and, given that I was going out to dinner the night beforehand, something that could be cooked in advance.

I decided on baked eggs & beans, then pears poached in passionfruit juice accompanied by numerous glasses of Moscato d’Asti.

Baked Eggs and Beans
I have to admit that this particular version of this recipe is mine, but the idea is certainly not. Back in summer an old friend of mine, Library Spice, invited Jonas and I over for breakfast to meet her man. They cooked us a meal that we have since repeated over and over again. A huge baking dish of beans was topped with eggs and then the whole pot was put into the oven until the eggs set. Brilliant!

Even though we got sunburnt in the park when he kicked our butts at Scrabble (forcing us to accept rime, as in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, over a triple word score), how could we not love the new man when he cooked us this?

I replicated my own version, which I suspect it’s identical to his.

Baked Eggs & Beans
Anna’s take on Craig’s recipe. Serves 4.

480g canned cannellini beans
350ml passata
4 eggs
½ dried chilli, chopped finely (seed included)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 180’C.
2. Heat olive oil. Sauté onion, garlic and chilli until onion is soft.
3. Add passata. Season with salt and pepper. Stir then cover and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
4. Add beans. Stir and simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes.
5. Spoon into four individual baking dishes or one large dish.
6. Make four wells in the beans, being careful to keep a layer on the base of the dish, then crack an egg into each well. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Bake in oven until set. Can take anything from 15 – 30 minutes.
8. Season with salt and pepper then sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Pears Poached in Passionfruit Juice
Next we had pears which I had poached in passionfruit juice (it usually comes with a percentage of apple juice and has no seeds). I was trying to find a light yet sweet dish that would compliment the light floral tones of the Moscato d’Asti and I thought passionfruit would be nice. I served it with my favourite yoghurt of all time, King Island Dairy’s Cinnamon and Honey Yoghurt.

It’s effectively the same recipe as my pears in spiced red wine.

Pears Poached in Passionfruit Juice
Anna's very own recipe. Serves 4.
4 beurre bosc pears - peeled, cored and quartered
1 litre passionfruit juice
1½ cups sugar
300g good quality yoghurt
1. Put juice and sugar into a large saucepan and dissolve sugar over medium heat, constantly stirring.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered, until a syrupy consistency forms.
3. Add pears and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until pears are firm but soft to cut. Be careful not to cook too long or they will disintegrate.
4. Remove pears and continue to reduce syrup to thicker consistency, approx. 5-10 minutes.
6. Serve warmed with yoghurt and drizzle with passionfruit syrup.

This dish worked wonderfully with the Tosti Moscato d’Asti (photo from their website).

Made from Moscato grapes, this Italian wine is considered a ‘frizzante’ dessert wine, although it’s very light (not at all sticky) and has fragrant floral aroma of fresh grapes.

It’s said that the moscato grape was mentioned in records of the region in the 13th century and now Asti is a DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), which means the region is classified with specific winemaking techniques, grape varietals and an international reputation.

Asti, in Piemonte, turns the wonderful Moscato grapes into this gorgeous wine with a light spritz, subtle sweet flavour and wonderful floral fragrance. I can’t recommend this wine enough, as either a light summer aperitif or a dessert wine accompanying anything elegant or fruity.

Champagne breakfasts are good, but those enjoyed with Moscato d’Asti are even better.

This is my entry into Saffron Trail's Weekend Breakfast Blogging, an event in its second episode. Check out Nandita's round-up here for a wide range of breakfasts from around the world and a lot of great Indian goodies.


  1. It's my first time at your blog Anna! Wine with breakfast is something I'd love to do and then spend rest of the afternoon on a sweet high! Your breakfast entry seems to be perfect for a romantic weekend :)

  2. Thanks so much for the yummy brekky, Anna. I can confirm that it was UTTERLY scrumptious! The poached pears in particular were exquisite. However I will add a quick caution that Moscato d'Asti at 10am is a recipe for trouble (leastways it landed me into a bit of a pickle!)...

  3. Having been one of the guinea pigs for this, I can confirm that this was a fantastic breakfast for anyone who needs a hearty meal without that heavy feeling.

  4. anna, Thank you so much for this superb recipe. I love the whole concept of beans and eggs together and then baking them. Too good. Will try it out this weekend.

  5. Hi Anna,
    My name is Diane and I live in the USA. I found your blog when I was looking for a dairy free egg dish as my son in lactose intolerant. I had to convert a few things, and substitute for the passata, but what a great dish. I hope you don't mind, but I have put a link from my site to yours. I'm still in the process of setting it up, so, please forgive me if I don't advertise the URL yet. as soon as I am up and running, I will leave another comment, and give you my site's address. Thanks again.


Thanks for saying hello. It's great to know there are people out there in cyberspace!

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