Meatballs & Spaghetti...

I’ve been making this for a while now. I can’t quite remember where the idea came from at first, I think I was just looking for something new to do with minced beef.
Anyway, this is what came about. It’s a bit time consuming, but all that time simmering leads to fantastic flavour. I couldn’t believe I’d been living without these in my repertoire for so long.

• Mix the beef, bread (make into breadcrumbs first), herbs, salt & pepper together in a bowl until well combined.
• Fry each one gently to brown the outside.
• Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and garlic, place in a large saucepan and sweat over a low heat in a little oil. Set aside.
• When the onion has softened, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, bring to the boil, season with fresh herbs, salt and pepper then simmer to reduce the liquid slightly.
• When the mixture has thickened, place the meatballs in the mixture, cover and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the meatballs.
• Serve hot spooned over spaghetti with a sprinkling of cheese.

• Don’t be tempted to over mix the meat or use a food processor. Smooth textured meatballs are not pleasant.
• You can also add an egg to the meatball mixture, I didn't on this occasion but it can help it bind together.

• This forms the basic recipe, nothing stopping you experimenting with other additions… chilli, pepper, mushrooms etc.
• You can simplify the process by not frying the meatballs first, they’ll still cook through, just without a smoother, paler outside.
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Roasted lamb Chops with Mint & Potatoes...

This is one of those incredibly simple throw it all in one tray kind of dinners. I kept the flavours fairly simple in this instance and seasoned the meat well.

Prepare the meat a little in advance...
• Place the chops in a bag/bowl with a couple of crushed garlic cloves, chopped mint, salt, pepper and a dash of olive oil.
• Shake it up a little and leave for at least an hour

• Heat the oven to 200-220°C.
• Chop the potatoes and an onion into roughly inch-sized chunks, coat in oil in a roasting tin and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes.
• Meanwhile, brown the lamb chops on both sides in a little oil in a frying pan.
• Add to the roasting dish, arranging the potates and onions around the chops. Include any juices/seasoning and the garlic from the bag.
• Roast for around 20 minutes or until the lamb is crisping up on the edges.
• Serve with fresh vegetables.
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Courgette & Lime Cake...

This is a bit different. It's moist like a carrot cake (due to the courgette) and has a lovely tangy lime icing.

• Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 20x20 square tin.
• Soak the sultanas in a little water and grate the courgette.
• Beat the eggs, oil and sugar until frothy.
• Sieve in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, stir to combine.
• Stir in courgette and drained sultanas.
• Pour into the tin and bake for around half an hour.

• Beat the butter until soft.
• Gradually beat in the icing sugar occasionally ading some of the lime juice to keep loose.
• Add lime juice to taste.
• Spread on cooled cake and sprinkle with grated lime zest.

• Sultanas optional.
• Adapted from
this recipe
• Makes at least 12 slices.
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