Baked pasta with pork and sage meatballs and kale


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

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
• 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

Pork porterhouse (porkerhouse) “saltimbocca”

Jump in my mouth right now
Jump in my mouth right now

Saltimbocca is the Italian term (meaning jumps in the mouth) that loosely refers to something that is wrapped in prosciutto and sage and is done with just about everything these days; chicken, fish, veal, pork, your girlfriend… certainly guaranteed to spice up your evening if nothing else. And if you’re anything like me you wouldn’t have a problem with your lover bringing the literal translation to the party either… maybe you had a bit of “saltimbocca” from your lover last night? Good on you, you dirty dog.

Hmmm, that’s making me think of possibilities… and I’m on holiday without my Jennee by my side to fulfill these gentleman’s food/bedroom time fantasies. A quick trip to the local newsagency should sort me out for a day or two I guess. But to the fridge quickly before that; partly to see what we have on hand, partly to cool off my throbbing member. Aaah, that’s better. I’ll just settle for a nice dinner for now…

Yes that dinner shall happen even though we were up at 5:30am (yes, that’s in the morning… before the sun wakes up). We shall eat like the kings whores once again… without needing to perform indecent acts uponst each other for the elation of the king. Winning.

Pork –check, bacon (this will do the job of the prosciutto for today) – check, sage (there’s a big fat bush of this stuff out the front of the holiday house) – check, beer (it’s good to go into my face. Just saying) – check. I’m good to go.

Wrap your porterhouse up with more pork and some sage leaves
Wrap your porterhouse up with more pork and some sage leaves. These were pre-seasoned with some random butcher’s combo but still worked just fine

Pork porterhouse (or porkerhouse as I have decided to call it) “saltimbocca” with kipflers and apples (for 3)
3 porkerhouse or some kind of grilling steak
3 rashers bacon or prosciutto
9 sage leaves
9 medium kipfler potatoes, scrubbed and boiled until almost cooked but still firm. It won’t be a biggie if you forget about them and cook them all the way through, it just means they won’t hold their shape as well
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8-10 wedges
½ brown onion, peeled and cut into wedges bout the same size as the apple
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1 cup of cream (I may have had a couple of holiday beers and don’t feel like walking my ass down to the shop so I don’t have any cream, thus will be winging it tonight. So this is how I would’ve done it, but alas this holiday fever has rendered me inept)
• Start by wrapping your porkerhouse in a rasher of bacon with a few sage leaves tucked under there for saltimbocca-ness
• Now get your kipflers into a pan with a bit of oil and get them happily sizzling over a medium heat. You could probably even cook the vegetables in the oven if you wanted to, but I didn’t, so I won’t be helping you with that one today
• While the kipflers are happily doing their thing get another pan on for the porkerhouse. Add a splash of oil and get those porky little effers sizzling away too. Med-high heat is good for the start, but you may need to turn it down after a few minutes depending on the size of your porkerhouse. This is an intuition thing and I trust you entirely. Start with 2 minutes each side, then flip it again for another 2 minutes each side. It should be starting to feel pretty good by now. Just firm. Not too squishy. I like my porkerhouse not quite cooked through, so I’ll be leaving it to rest now. Save the pan and the juices though, we’ll make the sauce in that
• The potatoes should be almost done, so add the apple and onions and a knob of butter. Sauté until it’s all browning, caramelizing and starting to look and smell really good. Season
• In the pan you cooked the pork add the vinegar, mustard and cream. Simmer for one minute to get the flavours going. Season and add parsley
• Plate it up however you see fit
• Eat
• Enjoy your time on holiday… oh no wait, that’s me