Sunday, 28 June 2015

Veal meatballs with chorizo in a tomato chilli sauce

For my birthday last week my mother, the beautiful woman that she is took me and another dear friend out to lunch at a gorgeous Italian restaurant that looks over one of our delightful beaches.

It is a stunning setting and the greetings from the friendly staff were as warm as this gorgeously sunny day.  After perusing the menu I settled on the Chilli veal meatballs which my friend also choose whilst my mother ordered a decadent carbonara gnocchi. We settled on a glass of  Coonawarra Shiraz as this South Australian region is reknown for it's amazing shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

We laughed and chatted and said hello to other happy diners, some I knew and others were just passing through but it was a very happy scene and a lovely place in which to toast my birthday.

The meal arrived and it looked and smelled amazing, although how any menu could describe 4 tiny meatballs with 3 slices of chorizo and 2 tiny buttered triangle slices of turkish bread as a luncheon dish is quite beyond me.    At least Kathy had 5 tiny meatballs and 6 slices chorizo, seriously, hey it was MY birthday but she graciously gave me 2 slices of chorizo in an attempt to even it up.

The tomato sauce vibrant with flavours of chilli, garlic and chorizo was absolutely amazing, there just should have been more of it, much more.  I had left my phone behind or I would have taken photos.

We decided to go elsewhere for coffee and cake in case the desserts were just as tiny as the mains.

Last night I recreated the dish offering many more meatballs to my appreciative family and it was deliciously amazing served with pasta.  My family and our friends, including Kathy who had popped in for a visit said it was so much better than the dish we had been served last week.


Veal Meatballs with Chorizo in a Tomato Chilli Sauce

500g veal and pork mince
2 eggs
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
handful of chopped continental parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and roll into small meatballs.  Place on a plate ready to fry.

2 chorizo, thinly sliced


1 large white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 long red chillies, finely chopped (adjust to your liking)
1 bottle tomato passata (375 ml) or 2 tins chopped tomato pieces
1 cup water
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 cup red wine
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 - 1 extra cup water approximately - preferably the water your pasta is cooked in
chopped parsley for garnish
fresh parmesan to serve

In a high sided frying pan heat a little olive oil over medium high heat and fry the meatballs in batches until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes each batch.  Remove and place aside on a plate.  Fry the chorizo slices and also put aside.
In the same pan add another 1/3 cup olive oil and fry the onion, garlic and chilli until the garlic is translucent.  Pour in the red wine, with the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.    Reduce to a simmer, add seasonings, chilli powder and pour in the meatballs.
Place on lid, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Put hot water onto boil with 1 tablespoon salt for your pasta accompaniment and pour in pasta when the water comes to a rolling boil.

Check meatballs, add the chorizo, white wine and 1/2 -1 cup cooked pasta water to thin the sauce to desired consistency, bringing back the sauce to a simmer.

Serve meatballs, chorizo and sauce over top of pasta sprinkled with parsley and with lashings of parmesan.  Delightful served with crusty bread and a side salad.


Tell me, do you like a hearty lunch time meal and do you try to recreate restaurant dishes at home?

Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

June Garden Share Collective

June Gardening is abundant and plentiful vegetables and fruit abound.

These are the highlights of my backyard Australian Garden.

Oranges, Imperial Mandarins, lemons and limes

I am still picking cayenne chillies and jalapenos every week.

Lovely yellow passionfruit.

Sun drying chillies on the windowsill, they seem to dry out very efficiently behind the glass.

The avocadoes have been delightfully big and succulent.
The Ruby Red grapefuit is visibly bright red when the flesh is revealed.

There are lettuce, cabbage, rocket,spinach, wombok and fennel growing in this bed.

Here are baby snow pea plants and more green vegetables.
Winter ensures so many vegetables can grow and thrive well.

This part of the garden has been neglected but will receive a good weeding
and general tidy up this long weekend.
There are corn, spinach, eggplant, fennel, chillies and zucchini growing well in these beds. 

We are picking cherry tomatoes and bigger tomatoes.
Thankfully now the fruit fly has disappeared for winter and they
all ripen beautifully on or off the vine.

These are my Winter garden highlights, shared as part of the Garden Share Collective hosted by Liz and Kate.
You can see the other Garden Share Collective members gardens here.