Recipes: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Pasta recipe from G1’s cooking class that he made and ate!

Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 250g minced pork
  • 250g minced beef
  • 4 tbsp of bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp of parmesan (or another type of cheese)
  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Method:

  • Mix everything together in a large bowl and place in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  • Shape the mixture into balls and bake them in the oven at 180C for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the juice from the meatballs to the tomato sauce (recipe below).

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot
  • 2 onions
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tins of peeled tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

Method:

  • Chop the carrots, onions, celery and garlic, and place them into a large pot.
  • Cook on low to medium heat until soft and brown.
  • Add tomato paste, bay leaf, and oregano. Mix well.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes; squash the tomatoes with a spoon.
  • Add salt, pepper, and sugar and mix well.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Cook some spaghetti following the instructions on the packet.
  • Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce. Serve over the spaghetti.

Work in Progress: Creamy Tomato Base Risotto in a Rice Cooker

After our successful Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Risotto in a rice cooker, I was inspired to try a tomato-base recipe which I borrowed from here and modified it like so:

Tomato Risotto

And before you comment – yes, I know… It looks more like porridge than risotto and I was sorely tempted to change the name from risotto to porridge. Then again, what is risotto but an Italian porridge?

Ingredients:

  • 200g chicken fillet, diced
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 1 L chicken stock (I used Campbell’s real chicken stock)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 200g prawns
  • 400g tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • dash black pepper

Method:

  • Stir fry the chicken and prawns and set aside.
  • Turn on your rice cooker with the rice pot in place and the lid open. Heat the olive oil and butter, add onions and garlic paste.
  • Stir in arborio rice until it is nicely coated with the oil.
  • Add tomatoes, zucchini, and chicken stock.
  • Start your regular rice cooker setting.
  • Once the rice cooker gets going, open it up occasionally to give it a stir.
  • When the rice is cooked, add chicken, prawn, pepper and parmesan cheese and give it a stir.

Notes:

  • This recipe is a work in progress and we will be making more changes in future but we are keeping the base recipe since it has shown promise – the fussy boy didn’t hurl it back in disgust.
  • The main comment was that it tasted like ABC soup porridge so we’ll need to do something to give it a more Italian flavour:
    • The tomato flavour wasn’t strong enough so perhaps some cherry tomatoes/tomato paste/tomato sauce might do the trick.
    • Many other recipes add Italian herbs and/or basil which may give it a more – we omitted it because the fussy boy won’t eat that.
    • Can also try adding cooking wine – about 1/3 of a cup
    • Needs more cheese before it can be classified as “creamy”
  • The current recipe is too wet (more like porridge than risotto) so we’ll need to scale back the liquid a little – say 200ml?

More notes after we modify next time…

Chicken Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

Hubs saw this interesting list of recipes that you can make with a rice cooker and suggested I try it out. So here’s my modified version of the risotto recipe (I had to edit the recipe ingredients to remove the “sure lose” ingredients).

#chicken #mushroom #spinach #risotto for dinner tonight - #easy #ricecooker #recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 250g portobello mushrooms
  • 500g chicken fillet
  • 60g melted butter
  • 2 c arborio rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 L hot water
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1/3 c parmesan cheese
  • 80g of spinach

Method:

  • Stir-fry olive oil, onions, chicken and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Mix melted butter and rice in the rice cooker bowl.
  • Mix half the chicken stock with pepper, salt, garlic – add to the rice and butter mix.
  • Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add cheese, chicken, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and the remainder of the stock.
  • Cook for 20 minutes (open and stir occasionally so the rice doesn’t burn at the bottom).
  • Ready to serve.

Verdict:

DH gave it the thumbs up. “It’s a keeper,” he said. Best meal he’s had in a while, too. Pity G1 and G2 didn’t agree.

Recipes: Spaghetti Bolognese

Not exactly my boys’ favourite recipe – although they did enjoy it until I ruined it when I used a different base sauce – but the hubs and I do enjoy a bolognese pasta every now and then… I don’t really know how authentic this flavour is but then they say the best flavours are the ones that remind you of your own mother’s cooking and this is about as close as I can get to my Mum’s Bolognese sauce – easy style, of course! I kid you not – it really doesn’t get easier than this.

I’m sorry I don’t have a picture – I’ll add one in the next time I cook this recipe – but it isn’t hard to imagine what Spaghetti Bolognese looks like so you aren’t really missing much anyway.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of tinned chicken soup – we use Campbell’s
  • 500g jar of Dolmio’s Tomato, Onion and Roast Garlic Pasta Sauce
  • 500g mince beef, or a mix of chicken and beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • spaghetti No. 5 pasta, cooked al dente

Method:

  • Heat up the oil in a pot.
  • Lightly stir fry the onions.
  • Add mince meat.
  • Pour in Dolmio pasta sauce.
  • Add chicken soup.
  • Pour over pasta and serve.

Notes:

  • You can add a sprinkling of oregano on top of your pasta just before serving if you like – we usually omit it because DH doesn’t like oregano.
  • You can also add in some grated cheese (a nice blend of tasty and parmesan goes really well) just as you serve it so that the cheese melts in the heat of the pasta sauce.