Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Return: Cloudy with a chance of...

Welcome back my faithful readers, I am sorry that it has been so long! I have been enjoying a leisurely summer break from the keyboard of my faithful Macbook Air; but now I feel, as the weather starts to turn and people are dousing themselves with buckets of ice water that I should make a return to the world wide web and offer another healthy dose of practical advice to you all. The first is a real treat…

Who doesn’t love a good meatball? I’ve yet to meet someone (excluding non-meat eaters) who cannot help but salivate when presented with a plate piled high with spaghetti and meatballs. 

Before my Italian readers flair up that this is very much an American thing and, contrary to popular relief they are meant to be served as an appetiser alone or at a push, with rice.  Let me just ay that this is how I like ‘em and I ain’t going to change it for no-one’. 

Of course meatballs have had a long association with the movies from lending their name to a Bill Murray comedy to the charming animation ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’. Perhaps the most famous, and my favourite, is that of Clemenza from The Godfather. 

In a classic scene where he teaches Michael the finer points of Italo-American cuisine right before he instructs him on the best way to take out a corrupt copper on the take. Here he gives a definitive recipe for meatballs. 

I’m afraid mine is much less elaborate and only uses two meats (pork and veal) opposed to the traditional three (the other being beef).  Anyway, here’s my take and I’ve yet to have any complaints so, you could do worse than give them a go. 

For Meatballs

300g pork mince
200g veal mince
2 rashers, unsmoked streaky bacon, minced
2 handfuls of dried breadcrumbs
1 red chilli finely diced
1 clove of garlic minced
handful of parsley, oregano, thyme and chives finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 handful grated Parmesan
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

For sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
6-8 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large glass of dry white wine
2-3 springs thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. pre-heat the oven to 200C. 
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl, incorporate thoroughly with your hands and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. 
  3. While the mixture is resting, soften the onion in the oil until translucent, add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes start to break down.
  4. Add thyme, bay leave and pour in the glass of wine, and simmer until all of the alcohol is cooked-off, season and remove from the heat. 
  5. Shape the meatballs using your hands, creating 20-25 equally-sized patties and place in a lightly-oiled, pyrex/china baking dish, leaving a gap between each one. 
  6. Pour sauce over the top of the meatballs and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. 
  7. Remove and serve immediately with al dente spaghetti or rice and plenty of Parmesan.

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