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I have felt like eating something similar to a recipe from my friend over at Cottage Grove House (which you may find here) had posted since I saw it in the wee hours of the morning. 5:30am to be exact. But this is bound to happen when you get up at 5am every morning to go fishing because you’re on holiday and suss out the blogs you like while having your morning necessities ie. Coffee or toast or whatever it is you consider to be a necessity in the morning. When I say similar though, I mean I want something with pasta, some kind of sausage or meatball type thing and something green. OK. Once again I head to the fridge… there’s pork mince in there so that shall be my meatball/sausage. There’s also sage in the garden so there’s a winning combo, much like the 20 bucks in your pocket and the sideshow alley entertainment of dubious origin. I also spied some kale in the fridge and there is pasta in the box of goodies I have brought with me to Iluka. Also, in a quick “fuck it”, I have decided I’ll chuck in some of that zucchini hiding in the bottom of the fridge where all the vegetables the kids hate go to die too (the kids hate it, but I love it so THEY WILL LEARN TO LOVE IT TOO. Or something like that).

I don’t even need to make a trip to the shops today… time to crack the lid on one of those bottles of goodness in aforementioned fridge. The ones that are filled with something that can only be described as looking like urine, containing an alcohol content of 4.5% and having a silhouette of a pregnant or possibly obese woman in a circle with a line through it on the label. I think this piss-like alcoholic beverage is not meant for fat ladies. That right there could land me in a bit of strife but I have no better judgement, so I shall run with it.

In a moment of good judgement though, I feel, I have decided to bake this instead of trying to do it in a pan… mostly because there is nary a pan bigger than my palm in this kitchen. Baking pasta is a great way to feed the masses (or even just two ravenous children) with out the need for a big pot/pan. Everyones got a big baking dish right? Good.

All in the oven dish

All in the oven dish

Whack a bit of béchamel and cheesy goodness on top

Whack a bit of béchamel and cheesy goodness on top

Add a few garlic croutons and you're ready to go

Add some garlic toast and you’re ready to go

BAKED SPIRAL PASTA WITH PORK & SAGE MEATBALLS AND KALE (for 4)
1x 250g pack pasta spirals (I would’ve preferred penne, but spirals is what we had so spirals is what I used… and the kids eat the shit out of those bloody things)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 zucchini, diced… I’ll see if they notice. They didn’t… suckerrrrrrs
Pork and sage meatballs (recipe below)
2 cups béchamel sauce (you know how to make this by now, yes?) because anything that is baked with béchamel is a winner with the kids. And me too actually
Grated cheese to top
• Cook pasta just like the instructions on the pack tell you to. Strain and put aside for a minute or two while you get the rest of this together
• Hopefully you have made a béchamel sauce and it is ready and waiting. And your meatballs should be ready to go, too
• Sauté zucchini and garlic until it starts to colour, add kale and toss to combine. Cover and simmer for another minute to get that party started
• Combine everything except the béchamel and cheese, check seasoning and then lay it down softly into a baking dish that will fit it all comfortably
• Top with béchamel and then a layer of cheese
• Bake at 200C for 15 or so minutes, or until it looks like lava and you fear for a new stone age just a little
• Eat it now. A little salad or some crusty bread or even garlic toast would probably find a happy home right here

Mixy mixy

Mixy mixy

Bally bally

Bally bally

Cooky cooky

Cooky cooky

Pork & sage meatballs
400g pork mince
½ brown onion, bruniose
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small handful each parsley and sage, chopped nice and fine
A pinch of chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli, or more if you love it
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
Seasoning
• Mix it all together
• Form into little balls, roughly the size of a tiny little ball
• That in your hand is a meatball, my friend, a meatball
• Brown them in a pan with a little oil. This will only work if you have heat under said pan. Med-high for 5-6 minutes will do the trick
• You’ve done well. Go and get yourself a beer. Seriously, you deserve it