Book Features

Spotlight Wednesday: Paired by Fran Flynn and David Stevens-Castro

*Writers Digest Book Awards – First Place – Reference Category
*Gourmand World Cook Book Awards – A ‘Best in the World’ award – Food & Wine Matching category
*Foreword Reviews – Finalist – Cookbook of the Year
*Australian Wine Communicator of the Year Awards – Finalist – Best Wine Book of the year
These awards followed on from winning ‘Best in Australia’ in two categories of the Gourmand regional awards for ‘Food & Wine Pairing’ and ‘French Wine’ earlier in the year
Food and wine pairing can be easy! All you need are taste buds and a sense of adventure.
This beautifully presented, full colour recipe book will encourage and support you to experience the pleasure of food and wine pairing for yourself. The first volume showcases sparkling wines of all styles, and challenges usual perceptions by offering sparkling wines with tantalising home-cooked recipes for all courses of a meal, not just with finger food.
The delicious recipes, presented by husband-and-wife team wine expert David Stevens-Castro and food photographer Fran Flynn create a foundation to apply your new pairing skills with confidence. Leave your comfort zone behind, try the unexpected, and bask in discoveries that your taste buds will be forever grateful for.
Renowned award-winning wine expert Tyson Stezler contributes a foreword and discusses the current trends in champagne and sparkling wine consumption.
Aimed at anyone with an interest in food and wine, this book uses a light-hearted and accessible style of language, plus full-colour illustrations to guide you on the right path to understanding food and wine pairings for yourself, with the added benefit of demystifying terminology and explaining wine labelling.
Seven chapters each showcase a style of sparkling wine, present a visual synopsis of the country of origin, supply complimentary cheese ideas, and several recipes that will pair with the topical variety. Every recipe illustrated with full colour photographs is introduced by Fran, while David narrates some pairing suggestions.
Common misconceptions about wine are dispelled, a broad range of dishes suitable for sharing and entertaining are presented, and suggestions on how you can introduce your friends to the wonderful world of food and wine are also provided.
Note: All measurements appear in both imperial and metric format throughout the book.
Buy Links: Amazon
Visit the PAIRED Website!

stuffed mushrooms

with ricotta & sun-dried tomatoes


Large juicy portabello mushrooms stuffed with lush, creamy ricotta cheese, paired with a light, fresh prosecco – it’s an easy and very pleasurable combination. This dish even sports the colours of Italy, as well as a sense of Italian flavours. It’s also an ideal share dish and surprisingly rich too. Usually one large mushroom per person is enough for a satisfying starter.

Suggested match
Dry non-vintage prosecco ideally from Veneto, Italy
Pairing style / cleansing

 This is a classic example of ‘what grows together goes together’ with the Italian influence of the dish matching nicely with the Italian wine. A light easy-drinking non-vintage prosecco beautifully cleanses the palate after the richness of the ricotta. The potentially strong flavours of the onion, sun-dried tomato and parmesan are pleasantly restrained by the acidity of the wine.


200g (7oz) ricotta cheese,
preferably fresh and full-fat

50g (1¾oz) sun-dried tomatoes,
finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

4 large portabello mushrooms 

½ small red onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, peeled
and minced

parmesan cheese,
coarsely grated

salt & pepper


Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F. Mix ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes and finely chopped parsley in a bowl and put to one side.

 Remove the stems of the mushrooms and finely chop. Gently fry with onion and garlic until just softened. Allow to cool slightly and then add to ricotta blend and mix fully.

 Re-grease the same pan with a little bit of oil, to seal the mushrooms. Put on a high heat, add a few drops of water and place a large saucepan lid propped at an angle over the mushrooms to increase humidity and prevent drying while frying. Fry for about a minute each side.

Once sealed, place mushrooms in an oven dish on a layer of baking paper and heap with ricotta mix, until all mushrooms have a dome of the ricotta blend on top. Sprinkle with some parmesan.

Bake for 20–25 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a wire tray and top with some freshly chopped parsley, salt and pepper and a little bit more parmesan. Serve immediately.



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