Spaghetti & meatballs

Now this, is not the kind of dish I usually make. Or the kind of dish I’ve been known to make. Or the kind of dish I would even consider make a few years back. But things are about to change around here. Or so it seems, because this was freakin’ delicious!

Normally, I’m more of a vegetable person when it comes to dinner. (Though I do love a good meaty burger)
I’m also more of a creamy white sauce person when it comes to pasta.
Besides, I’m more of a meat or chicken person when it comes to meat. Meaning, not ground meat.

So that this dish would do it for me, wasn’t really expected. My boyfriend however, loves this stuff. So much that whenever -literally- I ask him what he wants for dinner, it’s spaghetti bolognese. Always. And I always turn him down, the poor thing. That’s not what I want. At least not the way he makes it. (Sorry!) But when I saw this dish on Pioneer Woman I thought I would give it a try, and be a nice girlfriend. But if I’m making something I normally don’t like, it oughta be good. If you know what I mean. Judging by the photos, I had faith. It actually looked really good. There was something very appealing about those round meatballs, and making them turned out to be very therapeutic. As was eating them… I’ve never made it before, and replacing meat with balls of meat never occured to me. But it was a lot better, so I’m not going back! It was so slurpy delicious, I actually skipped the salad. But next time, cause there will be a next time, I’ll serve it with a caesar salad and garlic bread as PW suggests. Adding garlic bread can only do good. The dish was really tasty, comfort food at its best. And the boyfriend was very content.

Serves 8
Meatballs (recipe from Pioneer Woman)
¾ pounds Ground Beef
¾ pounds Ground Pork
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
¾ cups Fine Bread Crumbs
2 whole Eggs
¾ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
¼ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Splash Of Milk
½ cups Olive Oil

1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
½ cups White Or Red Wine (optional)
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
8 whole Fresh Basil Leaves, Chiffonade (optional)

Adaptations: I used only ground beef, skipped the wine and replaced parsley with basil.

To make the meatballs, combine meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk in a mixing bowl. Mix together well with hands. Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place in the fridge or freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up.
To brown the meatballs, heat olive oil in a heavy pot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs 8 at a time, turning to brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel after each batch. Set meatballs aside.
In the same pot, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Pour in whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and wine, if using. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Add meatballs to pot and stir in gently. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times during the simmer. Just before serving, stir in basil if using.
Pile on the meatballs over a big bowl of cooked spaghetti. Serve with garlic bread and a caesar salad. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan. Enjoy!


Farfalle with bacon and cabbage

farfalle & friends

I’m back from 10 lovely days in the country, and I didn’t have any internet connection there as I thought, so no blogging was done. But I can tell you there still was plenty of food! Sveler, (traditional Norwegian buttermilk pancakes) served with homemade blueberryjam and sour cream, cinnamon rolls, bread, a yummy blueberry pavlova (which I’ll get back to in a later post) and lots of barbecuing! And, yes, there were blueberries, already. I’ve never seen so many blueberries in my entire life. We discovered a new place in the woods, it was packed with large perfectly ripe berries just waiting for us. All in all I think we picked 20 liters. Mostly blueberries but some raspberries too. Could have picked more if those scary cows weren’t around.

But now I’m back in town. And before I get started on anything else food-wise, I need to make my way through the content of the fridge before it turns bad. And someone has to prepare dinner, right? I had some mushrooms that had to be used, some beans and bacon from yesterday’s dinner – all I needed was some cabbage. One of my favourite pasta recipes from Jamie Oliver came to mind. You can find the recipe here. My version is slightly different, but just as good. It just happened to be these things I had lying around. Here’s my rough recipe.


Butter Beans
Finely chopped Garlic

Boil the pasta, drain, but save a little of the water.
Fry the bacon until dark and crisp. Add the chopped mushroom. Finally add the chopped cabbage and garlic. Stir, and remove from heat when the cabbage starts to soften. You don’t want to make it all soggy. Add the beans and grated cheese into the drained pasta. Stir, making it creamy. Then pour the pasta mixture into the veggies, stir, taste with salt and pepper and serve immediatly. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and pepper! Enjoy!