Friday, 28 October 2011

Homemade Saturday Night Dinner

One of the things I love is making Saturday night dinner with my nieces. I always plan ahead from my own recipes and cookbooks I love. I have everything ready and do all shopping ahead so we can all get busy Saturday afternoon. They are so good with preparing things and proud of what they achieved when we are all eating the finished product. Here is this week’s menu with some personal touch of ingredients. I will be updating the post with the pictures we have taken in the making. See you soon.

Granny's Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 pound spaghetti
Sea salt, for pasta water ( I use Ravida Sicilian sea salt)

1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese (I use Parmigiano Reggiano PDO
From Mountain)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (got from our vineyard)
Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Fini)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup beef stock, available on soup aisle in market in small paper boxes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
A handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
10 leaves fresh basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
Grated cheese for passing at table


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place a large pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it boils, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente.

Mix beef and Worcestershire, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium-sized meatballs and place on nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet greased with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake balls 10 to 12 minutes, until no longer pink.

Heat a deep skillet or medium pot over moderate heat. Add oil, crushed pepper, garlic and finely chopped onion. Saute 5 to 7 minutes, until onion bits are soft. Add beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.

Toss hot, drained pasta with a few ladles of the sauce and grated cheese. Turn meatballs in remaining sauce. Place pasta on dinner plates and top with meatballs and sauce and extra grated cheese. Serve with garlic bread and salad.


 Parmesan Cheese Garlic Bread


1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1  loaf French bread cut


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a small bowl, mix butter, garlic salt, basil,  garlic and Parmesan cheese.
Cut into the bread as if you wanted to slice it into snall rounds dont slice it up but leave enough crust to hold it togother.Spread each cut of the French bread with equal portions of the butter mixture. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Place bread  on a medium baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned. 


Rocket, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

150g rocket leaves
8 plum or vine ripened tomatoes, diced roughly
1 garlic clove crushed
500g  mozzarella., diced
Handful of basil leaves shredded
Parmesan shreads ( cut with Parmesan cutter)
200g freshly grated Parmesan

To Serve
50g toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt- Le Tresor fleur de sel (truly the best organic sea salt) and freshly ground pepper

Place the tomatoes in a bowl, add the garlic and a little salt and pepper. In a bowl toss the rocket leaves with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves. Sprinkle the pine nuts around the plate, drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar around the plate.

Fuggy Chocolate Brownies


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan (Kerry Gold)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Caro Chocolate from Aragon)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar vanilla infused if possible
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bourbon vanilla ice cream/Greek yogurt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dish. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. Set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto the rack. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares. Serve hot with ice cream if you don't have ice cream you can also serve it with thick Greek yogurt.