Caminiti Butchery, Five Dock, took home the Local Business Award for Best Butcher in the Inner West this year. Here owner, Sam Caminiti, chats to Ciao about the business he inherited from his father Bruno, which he continues to run alongside his mother Maria.
How do you think your industry has changed since Caminiti’s Five Dock opened in 1974?
The industry has changed significantly since my father first opened the store. I’ve seen a major shift towards a focus on freshness and quality. Customers now expect a large variety of products that are fast and easy to prepare whilst still being wholesome and delicious.
How has your Sicilian heritage contributed to your business and products?
The store is built around my family and around our Sicilian heritage. While we are constantly adding new products, both mine and my customers’ favourites are still our gourmet sausages. Most of our recipes were created by my parents using traditional Sicilian techniques and ingredients, from our pork fennel sausages to my Mum’s special meatballs.
What ingredients do you always have on hand in your kitchen?
Obviously fresh meat is a staple in our household, however I can’t live without garlic and a good quality olive oil.
Which kitchen utensil can’t you live without and why?
Spending plenty of time at the shop I have learned to love and appreciate having a sharp knife as it’s not only versatile but used for every meal.
What is your favourite type of meat and how do you cook it?
I simply can’t go past rib eye on the bone. It’s a traditional cut that needs little preparation and is simple to cook. To bring out the best flavour I season with salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil, then sear in the pan and finish in the oven.
If you could invite anyone over for dinner, who would you invite and why?
If I could invite anyone to dinner it would have to be Andrea Bocelli. He is true master in his field and would have many great stories to share. His voice reminds me of the music that I grew up listening to, because of my father’s love of classical music. I’m sure the dinner would be unforgettable.
Caminiti’s penne with pork and fennel sausages
1 can chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a hot pan, sauté garlic and onions with olive oil.
2. Squeeze the mince out of the pork and fennel sausages and add to the pan, frying until light brown.
3. Add chopped button mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, mixing through with a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Leaving the lid off, simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce reduces.
6. Add to your penne pasta, cooked al dente.
7. Finish with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!