This is our first post for 2.5 years. It’s been 2.5 years of promises to get back to it, losing inspiration, preferring to cook the things we always cook or not bothering about food (shocking I know!). The thing is, writing about your love of food is easy and wonderful when you aren’t stressed about other aspects of your life. Even if you don’t feel like you have a lot of time – you make time for your passion. And losing your passion is like a losing a bit of yourself.
Along the way we have done things here and there to revive it – taking gorgeous bread-making courses at Bread Ahead, a Chinese cookery class, trying out new cuisines – but nothing has worked quite like a trip to Italy. It was a perfect marriage of relaxation, sun and simple foods using really flavourful ingredients (why don’t tomatoes taste like tomatoes here in the UK?). The Italians don’t seem to worry about “good” or “bad” foods – they eat well-made food and they enjoy themselves! It is particularly interesting to see Italians start their day with maritozzi (Italian sweet buns filled with whipped cream) with espresso for breakfast or cake as you see in Italian hotels – it might seem horrifying for some as it seems like such a treat.
So coming back to the cold weather, it seemed natural to turn dinnertimes into more of an occasion – at the table, with a plate of pasta and a glass of wine, rather than the usual eating-in-front-of-Netflix set-up. And what better than handmade meatballs in a tomato sauce made with overripe/forgotten about tomatoes are truffle oil? Simple but so comforting. In particular, we like to make meatballs as simple as possible rather than add breadcrumbs (why extra carbs?) or other ingredients like other recipes do that can overcomplicate the flavour. (And easy means getting dinner on the table quicker!) The key is getting the best quality meat as possible and not lean, otherwise you’ll end up with tasteless, dry meatballs!
500g pork sausage meat
300g tomatoes (the riper the better!), chopped roughly
1 tbsp truffle oil
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
100g spaghetti, cooked
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Using your hands, divide the sausage meat into roughly 12 meatballs and place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.
- Bake for 25 minutes until just brown. No more than that so that the meatballs are juicy! Set aside and keep the pork juices.
- While the meatballs are cooking, heat the truffle oil (medium-high heat). When hot (I use a bit of the tomato to test), add the tomatoes, garlic paste and oregano. Add 1 cup water and bring the mixture to boil.
- Then turn the heat down to a low simmer the mixture and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. (We like to stir every few minutes, smooshing the tomatoes as we go.)
- Then strain the mixture using a sieve into another bowl, getting as much liquid out of the mixture as possible.
- Discard the sieve’s contents and return the tomato sauce to the pan.
- When the meatballs are done, add the meat juices to the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
- Enjoy the sauce on top of freshly cooked spaghetti and place a few meatballs on top. And maybe pour yourself a glass of wine because you deserve it 🙂
So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.