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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Buffalo Meatballs with Orange Pasta Sauce

I learned a few things from my initial attempt to make Pizza Sauce. Firstly, it pays to have some idea of what you're doing before you waste a lot of time, food and power converting good ingredients into mush. So this time, I did my research. Tomatoes were relatively cheap at the market today, so I got a bag and found a recipe for pasta sauce. Then I modified the recipe to match what I had on hand, and as a result, I ended up with a rather unique Orange Pasta Sauce. There are things I would change about it next time, but it worked for what it was. Because this was a trial run, I halved all the ingredients from the base recipe (apart from the carrot, which I used to substitute both capsicum and celery). If I was making a recipe I was confident was great, it would make more sense to do double the recipe and keep some for later. So don't be surprised if you get a paltry amount of sauce out of this. It did enough for 4 adult servings and one toddler.

Together with the Pasta Sauce (Mk II), I made fresh meatballs, boiled up some noodles, and steamed some fresh veges (for a change). Lovely stuff.

Special Orange Pasta Sauce (No Oranges Required)

Boil a pot of water on the stove, and have a pot of iced water standing by. Pop 5 tomatoes in the boiling water, watching for the skins to split (about 1 minute). Remove the tomatoes to the ice water and leave for a few minutes. (See, I knew that I'd read something like that somewhere). Remove the skins (so easy!) and slice, scooping out the seeds.

Chop 4 into a bowl and puree. Chop the last one roughly and put aside. Heat a splash of Olive Oil and a hunk of butter in a medium pot, and cook 1 chopped onion, 3 small chopped carrots (see, orange!), and about 6 finely sliced cloves of garlic. Cook until the onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes, the chopped tomato, 1/2 handful of chopped Oregano leaves, 1 pinch of dried Italian herbs, 1 small bay leaf, and 30ml of Red Wine. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 1 /2 hours. Add 15ml of Tomato Paste Concentrate, and simmer for a further 1 1/2 hrs. Discard the bayleaf and serve as required (see below).

Buffalo Meatballs (No Buffalo Required)

In a large mixing bowl, place about 500g of mince, 5 finely chopped garlic cloves, freshly ground salt and pepper, a grate of nutmeg, a pinch of dried mixed herbs, 1t of mustard powder, and 2t of paprika. Break in one Free Range Egg and mix thoroughly, until the mixture holds together nicely. Lay out 2 plates and sprinkle both with flour. Using a pair of soup spoons, roll the meat mixture out into even sized balls. Roll the complete meatball in the first plate of flour, then place on the second plate.

This helps to stop the meatballs sticking to the plate before you get to cooking them. Heat a layer of oil in a pan, and place the meatballs in it. Turn the meatballs as they brown, taking care not to let them stick or burn.

When the meatballs are ready, place in an oven dish lined with oiled tinfoil. Grate colby cheese followed by parmesan cheese over the meatballs and fold the tinfoil over, without covering them. Place in the oven at 200C, for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon some Special Orange Pasta Sauce (or other Pasta Sauce - I won't take it personally) around the meatballs. Bake for another 10 minutes, then switch the oven over to grill and place the meatballs under it. When the cheese has browned up nicely, pull out and dish.

To Serve

Boil up a pot of long noodly pasta (whatever you prefer), drain when cooked and stir the Pasta Sauce through it. If you are using a freshly cooked pasta sauce, you can dish immediately. If you are using a jar or can of sauce, return to the stove and heat through. Layer the noodles, then the meatballs, and dress with EV Olive Oil, freshly ground pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Then try to find a plate
at the table with anything left on it.

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