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Archive for the tag “Onion”

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Over the last year or so of blogging about my favourite foods, I must have mentioned the words “comfort food” a couple of times.  For me personally food is a comfort in many ways.  I guess it’s not always a good thing, but hey I love food.  My interpretation of comfort food is that it’s “happy food”.  Food that tastes good is made with love and care and can solve/change a multitude of “moods”.  Psychiatrists I know won’t agree with me but who has honestly ever been in a good mood when they’re hungry. I bet not many people.  I’m as grumpy as can be when I’m hungry.  Another one of my comfort foods that I enjoy terribly when I “comfort eat” is spaghetti bolognaise or known in most households as spagbol or when my children were young, they called it “sligetti”.  Whatever you choose to call it, it’s delicious and I bet most people have their own delicious interpretation of it.  The recipe below is my interpretation and really in my view, flop proof.  I’ve also made home-made spaghetti as I am not fond of store bought and will only use the store bought if I’m in a hurry.  Click here to learn how to make your own spaghetti at home.
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Spaghetti Bolognaise
For the bolognaise you will need:
30ml butter
2 carrots (cleaned, peeled and grated)
1 onion, diced
2 sticks of celery (sliced)
250ml sliced mushroom
2 cloves of garlic crushed
600g beef mince
Seasoning
1 cup chicken stock
Half a cup of red wine
1 tin tomatoes
50g tomato paste
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Spaghetti Bolognaise
Method:
Melt butter in a large heavy based pot on medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms and garlic.  Saute until onions are transparent and mushrooms are browning (time it for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid any bits getting burnt).  Add the red wine and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes.  Add the beef mince and break up with a fork.  Add seasoning, chicken stock and tin of tomatoes.  Mix together gently and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Once all the flavours have infused (do a taste test), add the tomato paste, mix well, turn stove down to low heat and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Check regularly and stir regularly as you don’t want the bottom of your pot to burn.
Serve on top of your fresh pasta and garnish with basil leaves and parmesan cheese. I serve my spagbol with a lovely fresh salad.Spaghetti Bolognaise
Spaghetti Bolognaise

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Creamy Chicken Penne


This is one of those dishes that don’t require a set recipe, you taste and add as you go along.  Ensure that you have the 3 core ingredients which is a tub of cream, 3-4 skinless chicken breasts (cubed), a half a packet of penne and a bit of imagination for the remaining flavour.  I diced and sautéed an onion in a bit of butter, added some fresh chopped garlic and chilli and set aside once the onion was transparent.  I then fried the chicken till done in the butter (don’t forget to season), added the onion mixture, half a cup of white wine and the tub of cream.   Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat.  In a separate pot, bring water to the boil and add penne till done (as per packet instructions).  Drain and add the creamy chicken.  At this point (if you love it) add more fresh garlic.  Stir around till all the penne is coated.  Serve with an Italian flat bread and salad.

Meatballs with Napolitana Sauce

I consider myself to be a relatively organised person.  I like to plan and prepare ahead of time so that I’m not left to rush at the last minute.   I plan my meals in such a way that by the time I wake up in the morning I know what I’m cooking for dinner.  Sometimes I’ll have my dinner ideas drawn up for a few nights depending on my work load and how my week ahead looks.

This recipe however is slightly different.  It was a Thursday afternoon last minute decision.  I decided to make meatballs in tribute to Sanet of Masterchef Season 2 who was eliminated because of her choice of dish, which was meatballs or in her case one giant big meatball. The challenged was to use any cut of beef as a main ingredient and be as creative as possible in producing any dish of your choice.  Sanet’s dish was unfortunately not adequate based on the task and requirements set forth by the judges.  I really liked Sanet (tears and all) and was really sad to see her go.

These meatballs (in my view) are rather creative as they are versatile in every way.  They can transform into a burger patty or meatloaf using all the same ingredients.  I served my meatballs with home-made tomato based sauce (Napolitana Sauce) which I served on a bed of creamy, buttery mash.

For the meatballs you will need:
500g beef mince
1 onion (finely chopped)
Splash of olive oil
Cumin and Coriander (5ml each)
Half a bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped
2 slices of crustless white bread soaked in milk
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
Seasoning

Fry the onion in the olive oil till translucent, remove from stove and allow to cool.  In a bowl combine all other ingredients and make sure to squeeze as much milk from the bread as possible before adding to the mince.  Add onions, combine well and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While the mince is resting in the fridge, start preparing the Napolitano Sauce.

You will need:
60g salted butter
1 Onion (finely chopped)
2 Leeks (sliced)
2 Carrots (diced)
2 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 Tsp crushed chilli
50ml tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 tins of chopped tomato
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Seasoning

Method:
Fry onion, leeks and carrots in the salted butter till the onions are translucent.  Reduce heat and add garlic and chilli.  Add tomato paste stirring continuously and ensuring paste does not burn.  Remove pot from heat if necessary.  Add in cup of white wine and allow flavours to mingle for about 5 minutes.  Return pot to stove and add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Taste as you go along and adjust to suite your own tastebuds – nothing wrong with that!

Remove meatballs from the fridge.  Roll into balls and lay out on a baking tray.  You should get about 20 small meatballs from the batch.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.  Add meatballs to the Napolitano sauce and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Serve on a bed of mash potatoes or rice.

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