Monday, 18 January 2010
Freezing winter days urge me to eat something rich, filling, but not stodgy. So I decided to make cream pasta, following your cookery suggestions in the BBC TV series, “Simple Suppers”.
Well, I replaced chopped sausages with hand-rolled meatballs because to get hold of “good” quality sausages are not easy in my surrounding environment in Tokyo. Moulding plenty of edible balls is time-consuming, but the plain and repetitive action brings peace of mind in this floating world rather than causes a nervous breakdown... believe me.
CREAM PASTA WITH MEATBALLS
* Serves 2
200g penne (or any other pastas as you like)
250g minced pork
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp milk
2 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
200ml single cream
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
2 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
A dash of white wine
Salt and pepper
1. To make the meatballs, mix the minced pork, breadcrumbs, milk, Parmesan and rosemary together in a bowl until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper, mixing with your hands.
2. Shape the dough into around 45 small balls (...phew!) and place on a tray.
3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the meatballs and fry for 5 minutes, swirling frequently. When browned all over, remove from the pan and lay on kitchen paper.
4. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Stir the onion until softened and add the meatballs, flat-leaf parsley, Parmesan, Dijon mustard and wine. Then, pour the single cream and simmer for 5 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Meanwhile, boil the penne. Bring a deep pan of salted water to the boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente according to the packet instructions.
6. Drain the penne, reserving a little of the cooking water, and toss with the sauce. Add a little of the cooking water if the consistency of the sauce is too thick.
7. Serve immediately, sprinkled with extra Parmesan and parsley.
1. The point of this recipe is to keep the meatballs almost “tiny” like a teaspoonful size to balance with the penne.
2. In the process of #4, you can add Dijon mustard as well as its grainy version as Nigel does. Yet, my personal palate is happy with only the former.
Nigel, I really fancy your honest, healthy and uncomplicated approach on daily food. Your latest book, “Tender: volume I”, which is my current read, is not just about growing, cooking and eating vegetables in a not-vegetarian-but-omnivorous way. Your writing style and photography heal my stressed soul, indeed!
Last but not least... Nigel Slater is the most successful food writer and cook in Britain.