Why is food on sticks more fun than foods not on sticks? We’re not sure, but we reckon these super easy-to-make party sticks will have guests at your next dinner event smiling.

They’re by Elizabeth Hewson, who is behind the popular Saturday Night Pasta (SNP) cookbook and philosophy. SNP was born after Hewson found that the usual methods to cope with anxiety, such as yoga and exercise, didn’t work for her – so she turned to pasta making. Each Saturday night she would knead pasta and make a different recipe, and she found it was a great way to de-stress. A ritual was born, and she’s gone on to build a passionate community around it.

Hewson has now worked with Byron-based artisan smallgoods producer Salumi Australia to create recipes for its range of offcuts, which it produces to reduce waste. The first product it released was mortadella, which is sold as a hunk rather than sliced.

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“While there’s always room for a lovely thin sheet of mortadella draped in your sandwich, offcuts open a whole new way of using [it],” she tells us. “They make the perfect ingredient for a pasta filling, pasta or spread, for example, and often come at a cheaper pricepoint.”

They also make a good snack. For this one, Hewson cuts the mortadella into cubes, which she fries then threads onto wooden sticks along with guindilla peppers and cornichons. Think of it as a modern take on those cabanossi-and-cheese sticks that became popular in the 1970s. “It’s the perfect retro snack to serve alongside drinks,” she says.

If you can’t get your hands on the offcut mortadella (it’s available at some Harris Farm stores), Hewson says your deli can cut you a thick slice of mortadella (about 1-centimetre wide) so you can achieve a similar result. “And if you can only find thin slices of mortadella, you can cut a slice in half and bunch it onto the stick,” she says.

Mortadella, pickle and pepper sticks
Makes 10 sticks
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes

1 thick disk of Salumi Australia offcut mortadella (see note above for alternatives)
Guindilla peppers

Cut your mortadella into cubes. Put a pan on medium heat and fry the cubes on each side until golden. Drain on paper towel.

Thread a pepper onto a skewer, followed by a cube of mortadella and a cornichon. If your pepper is long enough, you can thread it through the stick again after the mortadella so it almost wraps it.

The edges of the mortadella can also be added to the end of the stick or enjoyed as the cook’s treat.

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Check out Broadsheet’s recipe hub.