Thursday, June 2, 2011

A day off (not)

Spaghetti Polpette part 2
Jo and I are off to Geraldton to visit her folks, Mum has not been the best the past year and we have not seen her for a while so being a long weekend it is a good opportunity to get up there.
I have taken the day off today to cook a few things for her and Dad, starting off with the Spaghetti Polpette dish, I blogged here a few weeks ago.  I have cooked this dish one other time since, but on that occasion being short for time, and curious to see how it would turn out, I cooked it using shop brought passatta, and I can tell you there is no comparison.
So this morning has seen me spend three hours putting together a passatta sauce and the meatballs, that’s just to get it in the oven, it I in there now to cook for an hour more.
Doing my usual thing, having cooked the dish a couple of times I have branched out from the recipe and added a little bit of me to it, so the sauce has a few more ingredients.  As it turned out the dish was ready right around lunch time, and I was certain there was 1 more meatball than I required, so that became lunch, and man I cannot believe the difference in the sauce, truly outstanding.  To my surprise, there were actually two more meatballs then I required, and I did not find this out until Jo walked in to the room, so Jo got lucky, then paid me a huge compliment by telling me it is the closest Italian flavoured dish to those she enjoyed from dishes her Nona fed her on visit to Wokalup years ago.  I was very pleased with the result myself, that just made it that much more worth the trouble I went too, to produce those flavours!
It turned out to be an enormous day in the kitchen, on top of the polpette, I prepared a Streak, Kidney and Mushroom sauce, which went into a pie, now this is something I am extremely proud of, having made the pastry from scratch using my Mum’s recipe, which was passed to her by my Grandmother, the pie looks fantastic, can’t wait to try it, it will be the only dish we will share with Jo’s Mum and Dad.
I have also done another of our favourites, my Kick Arse Lamb Hot Pot, having tasted only the sauce, I know it is going to be hard to part with, because I now the meat is going to be so tender and I have used Kipfler potatoes, and they are fantastic in this dish, great flavour and they stand up so well to the long cooking time.
Having cooked all that I was not in a hurry to do too much for our dinner, So I took an easy way out and cooked a one pot dish, Garlic Roasted Chicken with baked tomatoes and Olives, but you can’t leave it at that of course so I added some torn Italian bread, capper berries and roasted kipflers, such an easy meal, but boy the flavour is outstanding!
Just reread the first paragraph and had to laugh at the bit where I say I took the day off!!!! Hilarious!!!  Oh well, there another four days to come, bring it on!!
For any one that may be interested to make my passatta here goes,
Step 1
2kG ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh herbs if you can, if not dry will do, or a mix
Oregano, sage, rosemary, basil
Salt and Pepper
Cut tomatoes through the equator, make a crisscross on other end, with cut side up sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper over r the top and drizzle with oil, then place cut side down on a tray lined with baking paper, drizzle a little more oil over the top and  tray in an oven preheated to 160, cook for one hour.
Remove tray from oven, remove skins from tomatoes, and then place into a blender and blitz them for a few seconds.
Step 2
1 tbl spn olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
4 golden shallots
1 – 2 roasted capsicum strips
8 medium button mushrooms, sliced
Blitzed tomato sauce
200 ml Chicken Stock
Heat the oil in a pan, then add garlic and chilli, cook for a minute or so until fragment
add the shallots and capsicum, cook until shallots soften
Add the blitzed tomato sauce and stock, bring to the boil then add mushrooms and lower to a simmer, cook for an hour or until sauce has thickened
Once cook return to the blender and give a quick blitz, set aside until polpette is ready for the sauce and follow that recipe from that point. 
The crisscross makes it easier to get the skins off, take note I should have cored them first

That is the roasting done

Saute the garlic, chilli, shallots and roasted capsicum

Tear the basil leaves, dont use a knife

Beautiful rich passatta sauce, this is ready for the oven
 It is a bit of wok, but try it once and you will never use shop brought stuff again, it is that good!

Check out that pastry!

Delicious Steak kidney and Mushroom filling

The finished product, note the brown nosing!


  1. After a very small sampling tonight - I'm not sure the right thing to do is give it to my Mum.... after all what if you don't get those flavours back again... now there's a question most chefs/cooks would have to ask themselves!
    I'm very sure Mummy will think you are her favourite SIL for the weekend at least.
    Jo xxx

  2. Wow jack! You did have a massive cook up! Real pastry for the pie. I know mum will be stoked! I will have a go at that sauce though. i am so into tomatoes at the moment. See you later this arvo! Drive safe . Pam xx

  3. Cheers Pammy look forward to seeing you, think I might upset Amanda though I have forgotten her baked cheese cake, are there any good stores in Gero????

    Jo Girl as if I could forget!