Pretty easy sausage meatball pasta

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This is easy-tasty-good piss-easy mid-week cooking ala foodisthebestshitever personified.

The big secret here is if you get a good sausage you will defo be a happy woman.

Wait…

Um…

What I meant to say is; if you get a good sausage from your butcher half the work is already done for you. Yup. That’s my big secret.

Seriously.

A decent butcher will have a few different sausages to choose from so I would suggest something herby or something with some spice, like a fresh chorizo, and then half the battle is already won. Literally then the hardest thing you will need to do to get a decent dinner on the table is to boil the correct amount of pasta needed to feed only the people sitting around said table and not the population of a small northern Italian village.

Add a few vegetables that you have wrestled from the grip of the depths-of-the-back-of-the-fridge-demon, a few subtle herbs*, a splash of whatever trashy white wine you have in the coffee cup in front of you and some cooked pasta (or instant noodles if you’re feeling reals trashy), and you will be eating a pretty damn fine pasta for your dinner.

And don’t feel like this could only be done on a stove top. Anything you can cook in a pan can be cooked on the coals or on a grill… just saying… it’s a pretty good way to do camping like a boss.

Little balls of meaty goodness getting made by my children. So bloody simple.

Brown those balls

Get some green things into the pan

…and then get some pasta in there too

A few subtle herbs. Bahahahaha… subtle herbs

Get into my face time

SAUSAGE MEATBALL & GREEN STUFF PASTA

Serves 4

Enough cooked pasta for 4 people, plus a tablespoon or two of the water it was cooked in
500g good thick sausages, each sausage pushed from its skin and formed into 5-6 meatballs
1 anchovy
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large handful chopped fresh herbs – sage, thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary and curly parsley
2 cups diced green vegetables – zucchini, broccoli and green olives… even peas would work so very well
A splash of white wine
Olive oil
Grated parmesan or pecorino to serve

Heat a splash of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add meatballs and sauté for 2 minutes, turning every 30 seconds to get a little browning on a fair bit of the ball.
Add anchovy, garlic, half of the chopped herbs and the vegetables, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until starting to colour a little.
Deglaze pan with a splash of white wine. Deglaze your own face with a large tumbler of said white wine. Cook out for another minute.
Toss through pasta and 1-2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water and heat through.
Toss through remaining herbs.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Distribute that good stuff between 4 bowls. Top with parmesan and a splash of olive oil if you’re feeling it.
Eat it in your face.

*Bahahaha… subtle herbs. I don’t even know what a subtle herb is. Man up and get some punch-in-face herbs in that pasta so they may party with the sausage like a cheap prostitute and they can all hit the front page of tomorrows local rag together.

Baked pasta with pork and sage meatballs and kale

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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

Meatballs… meaty balls… meaty balls of love

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Meaty balls of love…

Din dins

Din dins

Not so long ago we set about making meatballs for our dinner. I was hella keen on big fat meaty balls of juicy goodness… did I go too far? I possibly went too far… anyway I was getting my big fat meaty ball fix and I was going to do whatever I needed to do to achieve my goal. I was a seventeen year old groupie with the lead singer of a really cool and hip band of the times (yes, that’s how out of touch I am with cool and hip bands. And yes, this is approximately how many fucks I give; 0) in my sights and I know he’s going to be keen for whatever I have to offer. I hope I made it clear that that was a metaphor… still too far? Probably…

I know I’ve started off a little rude today (how out of character I know), but I feel I can blame almost all of this sexual inuendo on the fact that I slurped down on some big meaty balls and I enjoyed it so much I thought I would tell you about it.

That’s it. I’m getting the eff out of here.

BIG MEATY BALLS

Before I devulge this recipe to you I think it should be said that when my boss Jo, who is of I-talian descent, heard that I would be cooking meatballs for my dinner that night she left me with only one comment… “ricotta and pinenuts”. I guess she might be going a little crazy and was just muttering some random words as she walked by, but I took this as a sign from the virgin mary herself that I should be putting ricotta and pinenuts into my meatballs. So ricotta and pinenuts it was. Actually we didn’t have any ricotta in the house so fresh pecorino it was. I was sure all would work out though as fresh pecorino and myself are very close friends, and I knew she would look after me in this my time of need.

What you need

1kg beef mince

1kg pork mince

1 onion, peeled and finely diced

1 smallish carrot, grated. Who puts carrots in meatballs? We do. That’s who!

500g fresh pecorino, grated

1 cup pinenuts, lightly toasted/roasted/warmed in your under clothes for a half hour or so

2 cloves garlic, crushed

zest of one lemon

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground

½ cup chopped herbs (we only had parsley, so parsley it was. Basil and oregano would have been nice)

a big pinch of salt and pepper

3 cups of your favourite dolmio tomato sauce, tomato pasatta, nona’s home made special tomato sauce, tinned tomatoes or heinz tomato sauce (depending on your own personal preference and presence of taste buds)

grated parmesan and pasta, or something Italian-ish, to serve

  • Preheat your oven to 200C-ish
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together until they are well combined. Big hands are good for this
  • Pour your sauce of preference into a baking or casserole dish that will fit your balls (heheh)
  • Roll your meatballs. I rolled mine nice and big, somewhere just a little smaller then a tennis ball. But if you like little balls you make them a little smaller…
  • Place the meatballs into the sauce and then into the oven for 20 minutes
  • Check to see if they are cooked by whatever method you see fit
  • Check seasoning
  • Serve with whatever you like plus a splash of olive oil
  • The pinenuts and cheese made these really good. Jo would be proud
Herbs and onions and shit

Herbs and onions and shit

...and carrot and tomato paste

…and carrot and tomato paste

Mix it up good and properMix it up good and proper. Big hands are good for this…

Roll them up nice and big and sit them in the tomato sauce

Roll them up nice and big and sit them in the tomato sauce

All baked up and ready to go

All baked up and ready to go

 

A close up... clearly

A close up… clearly

 

Paul’s Caul… Time to find a friend

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Time to find a friend

So you’re lonely, you’re bored and basically you have no mates… firstly ha-ha!!! But we at foodisthebestshitever are here to help, not in the collect all your details and hope to find a match in our database of other losers for you to date kind of way, but in the actually give you some real life social skills, and by social skills I really mean recipes and by real life I mean blog land aka the interweb. And just to clarify this will entail recipes for a dinner party, not the recipe to trap unwilling people in your cellar for sex games (for this please see our sister blog http://www.lockeddoorsarethebestshitever.com )

Kevin Costner once said, “build it and they will come”… by Christ that man is wise, is there no end to his talent?

I feel just as strongly as the statement “cook it and they will come”… this can be taken both in the literal meaning and the other slightly sexual way, both I believe are a good result. I’m not trying to say that by some magical power that as soon as the aroma of a nice braised pork shoulder fill your house that all of your imaginary friends will spring to life and play out the plot to a god damn Disney movie, you do have to lay some ground work for this ploy to work.

Here are a few steps that you must work on starting months even years before you want to have a dinner party…
1. Sort your hair out, it looks ridiculous!
2. Be a little nicer to people, because you are a twat!
3. Put down the burger and go for a walk, you know why!
4. Pretend to people you have a partner, it makes you look less creepy (this one has to be a long game as you then need to break up before the dinner party)
5. Never and I mean never take advice from food bloggers on dating!!!!!

Once you have tricked people into thinking you are better then you actually are, you are ready to start dating (actually think this is one of my favourite sentences I’ve ever written)

So whats the next step?

Go up to the hottest person you know at work and ask them to your place for an intimate dinner? FUCK NO!!!!

That shit would be social suicide and ruin all the work we have achieved on this journey so far… what you must do is invite a few people including a couple so it doesn’t feel like a speed dating evening… and as far as the hottest person at work goes, never invite them, I’m sure they are way to much hard work and will be busy anyway.

So now you have a group of fun colleagues or acquaintances coming to your place for a dinner party… Brilliant! Now all that’s left is for you to cook up a feed that will not embarrass you, make them ill or fill them up so much that sex is out of the question…

Here are four recipe that are easy to prepare, not to costly and sure to get juices flowing (if you know what I mean)

Prawns, fennel seeds and cherry tomatoes
• 1 onion diced
• 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes quartered
• ½ kg prawns peeled and deveined
• 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
• ½ tablespoon smoked paprika (good shit in a fancy tin)
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
• salt and pepper
Fry off onions with a little salt until translucent then place to one side.
Fry off tomatoes until they collapse then place with onions.
Cook off prawns in a hot pan with the fennel seeds.
Toss through the onion, tomatoes and paprika, check seasoning then add basil and serve.

Can be served on plates or platter

Balsamic mushrooms with truffled polenta
• 1 litre of milk stock (milk, bay leaf, rosemary stalk, black peppercorns, chopped onion… simmer for 15 minutes)
• 1/3 cup polenta
• 50g butter
• 1 tablespoon truffle oil
• salt and pepper
To make the polenta whisk the polenta into the strained milk stock and simmer for 15 minutes stirring frequently, then leave on very low heat for further 15 to cook out the graininess, then add butter and oil, season and serve.
• 3cups button or swiss brown mushrooms, quartered
• ¼ cup balsamic
• 2 stalks of either rosemary or thyme
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
place in a sauce pan and cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.

To serve dish spoon polenta onto bowl or plate and place cooked mushies over, this can be on individual plates or platter.

Cumin spiced pork meatballs with a blue cheese cream
• ½ kg Italian pork sausages (or any sausage you like)
• 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
• 2 small dried chilli
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
Fry the spices and chilli in a dry pan until they smell fragrant, then grind with salt in a mortar and pestle.
Remove the skin from the sausages and add the spice mix and blend together, best to do this by hand.
Then roll into golf ball sized balls.
Fry off in a pan with oil and place on oven tray to finish of cooking in oven for 10 minutes at 180c
• small tub sour cream
• 60 g blue cheese
• salt and pepper
Mix together until smooth.

To serve smear the cream over plates or platter and top with balls (love that this includes smearing and balls… win win)

Turkish delight tart

Chocolate tart filling
• 250g dark chocolate
• 150g butter
• 3 tablespoons golden syrup
• 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
• 30g plain flour
• 50g castor sugar
• 2 tablespoons rose water
Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain maree)
In another bowl crack the eggs and give a quick whisk.
Once chocolate mix is completely melted whisk in remaining ingredients including eggs.
Pour into tart case and bake at 160c for 35minutes or until there is no wobble.
(note if really small cases may not need to be blind baked, but most likely will so if not sure what blind baking is then google that shit)

Sweet pastry
• 500g plain flour
• 250g butter, cut into small cubes, keep cold
• 100g castor sugar
• 1 egg
• 40ml water
Either rub the flour, sugar and butter together carefully with finger tips or place in a mixer to breadcrumb consistency.
Mix in egg and water well until it forms a ball, I may need a little more water.
Wrap in glad wrap and allow to rest for at least ½ hour before rolling out and filling tart cases.

So good luck with your adventures and a few last things to help on your way, don’t get everyone to place their keys in a bowl upon arrival it makes people feel uneasy I’ve found and be careful how many candles you use in your house as a few are romantic and heaps make you look like a devil worshiper.

Mussels with meatballs and other stuff

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MEATY MUSSELS?

A MUSSEL WITH SOME MEATY BALLS?

MY MUSSEL AND BALLS ARE MEATY?

THE LION, THE WITCH AND… NOPE

MUSSELS WITH MEATBALLS AND OTHER STUFF          

 

It sounds like a Friday night cabaret at the Blue Oyster Club.

 

I know what you’re thinking. Or, more correctly, I think I know what your thinking. The places I could go with a title like that (yeah, like the mental house)… But for me it’s all about the places you’ve been. Which leads me beautifully, if not loosely, to my next point.

Nicknamed the phallic fruit of the sea, mussels bare an uncanny resemblance to a vagina. There is something mysteriously fantastic about that, and, for any red blooded, pronged up guy out there, is probably reason enough to love them by itself.

Whoa there. Foodisthebestshitever… knowing no boundaries. I sound like a slogan for the Special Olympics. PS. You guys can use that if you’re reading this right now…

As if you haven’t thunk it before. You just keep it to yourself and smirk as you slurp away, dreaming a dream that only your dirty little perverted mind could dream. WAKE UP MAN. Back to the point, vaginas. No, mussels.

MUSSELS WITH MEATBALLS AND OTHER STUFF

1kg mussels

400-500g homemade meatballs or sausage or dirt

2 punnets cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 chilli, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

a bottle of white wine, usual deal, some for you, some for the pot

a handful of something green like choy sum, gailan or baby bok choy, washed and roughly chopped

a handful of basil or coriander

olive oil

fresh parmesan

Cook the cherry tomatoes, chilli and garlic until starting to soften


Add meatballs and simmer until cooked
Add mussels, greens and a splash of wine. Cover and simmer for a few minutes until all of the mussels are opened


Plate up, top with herbs, parmo and a splash of olive oil


Eat using half a mussel shell for your spoon and mop up the juices with crusty bread, and thank baby jesus for the mussel.

And while you’re at it, thank him for vaginas too…