We're in love with everything Italian in our household at the moment. We're booked on a 10 day holiday in May so Bonzo and I are both trying to learn Italian (part of the reason I haven't written anything lately). I'm also working my way through Gino d'Acampo's book "The Italian Diet" (www.ginodacampo.com). I'm not on a diet but I picked the book up in an upmarket shop in town and the recipes are very good.
Tonight I'm cooking his tuna and anchovy fishcakes for the Wrigglebottom and I, as Bonzo is out with a mate for a Ruby (curry for the Canadians amongst us). I'll let you know about that when we've tasted it. Earlier in the week, I cooked light spicy meatballs with tomato sauce (Polpette di carni piccanti). Bonzo doesn't like tomato sauce but even he gave them an 8 out of 10.
1) Mix 500g lean minced beef, 2 crushed garlic cloves (4 seemed a bit much),100g white breadcrumbs, 4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf or continental parsley,40g finely grated parmesan, 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes,half a teaspoon of paprika,salt and pepper with an egg in large bowl with your hands. You could do it with a spoon, but, believe me, hands are much quicker.
2) Divide the mixture into 12 and shape into small balls. Leave the balls on a plate in the fridge for 20 minutes if you have time as they are then less likely to fall apart in the pan.
3) Heat a couple of table spoons of oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches until they are golden brown.
4) In a separate pan, heat a bottle of passata (not 2) and add shredded basil leaves and a decent amount of salt (tomatoes need salt). As each meatball turns golden pop it into the passata.
5) When all the meat balls are done, pop the lid on the saucepan and put it on a low heat for between 20 minutes and an hour depending on how much time you have. Stir occasionally to make sure the meatballs are all coated and add water if the tomato sauce gets too thick.
6) Serve with rice or pasta, spooning the sauce over the meatballs.
PS He'sa god becuase he looks good and his recipes are easy and tasty. Can't ask for more than that....