Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Lemon in meatballs - yay or nay?

Meatballs With Fusilli
The Essential Pasta Cookbook Copyright 1998

1 ½ lbs pork and veal or beef mince I used beef and pork
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley I used dried parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 clove garlic, crushed
rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
¼ cup plain flour, seasoned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb fusilli I used mafalda, mini lasagne

14 oz can tomato purée
½ cup beef stock
½ cup red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, crushed

1. In a large bowl, combine the mince, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, onion, parsley, egg, garlic, lemon rind and juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and roll in the seasoned flour.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs until golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Remove the excess fat and meat juices from the pan.
3. To make the sauce, in the same pan, combine the tomato purée, stock, wine, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil.
4. Reduce the heat and return the meatballs to the pan. Allow to simmer 10-15 minutes.
5. While the meatballs and sauce are cooking, add the fusilli to a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain and serve with meatballs and sauce over top.

There was no fusilli to be found in my grocery store so I settled on mafalda, mini lasagne. And I did something I rarely do, I overcooked my pasta. Shame, shame.

I'm not sure how I felt about these meatballs. They weren't my favorite. I wasn't crazy about the lemon. But I loved, LOVED, this sauce and I loved the tang. Was that from the lemon in the meatballs? If it is, I think I would just use the juice next time, not the zest of the lemon.

The Essential Pasta Cookbook is one of my two favorite cookbooks as far as photography goes. The other is The Essential Appetizers Cookbook. They're both the same basic design - large, gorgeous glossy paperbacks. Pure food porn. The few recipes I've tried from them haven't been half-bad either.

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