When will the warm weather of Spring arrive and stay? It’s turn cold again today and the rain arrived just in time for school pick up. By the time you got home you were probably wet, tired, cold and hungry. To be honest a quick takeaway feels like the easy solution but it never makes you feel deep down satisfied like the good old fashioned comfort food your mum used to cook for you when you were young. You know the food I mean, it’s the food that made the house smell wonderful and your taste buds come to life as soon as you walked into the house. It’s the food that takes you home. I’m a huge fan of comfort food. And luckily for us Natalie, our wonderful dietitian and nutritionist is sharing one of her favourite comfort food recipes. Hope you enjoy it as much as I will. Lorraine
Comfort food can be very different for each of us but it always gives us that sense of emotional comfort when we eat it. It could be your favourite food from childhood or your culture or linked to a special person, place or time in your life. It’s the food that is not only comforting to your taste buds but to all your other senses. It’s food that gives you a warm hug, puts your mind at ease and makes you forget some of your worries, just for a little while anyway.
Embrace your comfort food. Enjoy, savour and relax with it. Below I have shared one of my favourite comfort foods, Traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs. I hope you enjoy it!
TRADITIONAL SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
500gm dried spaghetti
For the Sauce
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1.5 litres (6 cups) tomato passata
200ml chicken stock
10 basil leaves,torn
1 tsp dried oregano
80ml( 1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
For the Meatballs
1½ slices (~80gm) crustless white Italian bread, coarsely torn
2 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 slices mild pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped
1 rosemary sprig
75ml dry white wine
150gm each minced pork, minced veal and minced chicken thigh
1 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
25gm each finely grated parmesan and pecorino, plus extra to serve
½ tsp finely grated nutmeg
- For the Sauce, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and chilli, cook until garlic starts to colour (1-2 minutes). Add passata, stock and basil, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, add oregano, simmer until thick (45 minutes-1 hour). Remove from heat, add extra-virgin olive oil and season to taste.
- For the meatballs, combine bread and milk in a bowl, set aside until bread softens (5 minutes). Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over low heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (7-10 minutes). Add pancetta, anchovy and rosemary, cook until anchovy dissolves and pancetta is tender (8-10 minutes). Deglaze the pan with wine, cook until liquid evaporates (3-5 minutes), set aside to cool in a large bowl (discard rosemary sprig). Squeeze excess milk from bread (discard milk), add to onion mixture with pork, veal, chicken, parsley, cheeses and nutmeg, stir to combine, season to taste and roll into walnut-sized balls. Cover and refrigerate until required.
- Preheat oven to 160C. Place meatballs in a baking dish to fit snugly. Pour over the sauce, cover with foil, bake until the meatballs are cooked through (35-45 minutes).
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain, toss through meatballs and sauce, season to taste and serve hot with grated parmesan and pecorino.
I hope you have fun cooking my Traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs and it becomes one of your family’s favourite comfort foods too!