Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Hello Everyone! Oh wow – it has definitely been a while since I last updated my blog (well, I don’t think two weeks is “a while” but it definitely is for me)! I feel like I’ve lost touch on how to write since my last post, but I’m guessing that it is just the fatigue speaking here. In a nutshell, I’ve been super busy for the past two months, and it was really difficult for me to just sit down and write with a clear mind. I had been staying in the office until 9/9:30pm every night and have been working on Sunday’s as well since April. I know I shouldn’t be complaining because my other colleagues already do this on a daily basis and stay even later as well – it’s just that I am not used to this way of working.

Anyway! So what have I been up to? I don’t even remember if I have mentioned this in any of my previous blog posts – if I have, the annual Sukan Ria Antara Syarikat Inter-company Sports Fest 2016 finally closed two Sunday’s ago. You would think that that would be such a relief, but nooooooo! Just 3 days later, the opening of the 18th Consumer Fair snuck up on us, and that lasted up until Sunday. Though things have slowed down a bit, I still feel the stress from the past 2 months – and I believe it’s just because I haven’t had a proper rest yet. That’s right, right after the closing of the 18th Consumer Fair, we still had to report to work the next day at 8am *sigh*. Well, I’m just excited and really looking forward to the upcoming long weekend to just sit back, relax, and catch up on some cooking for my blog (doesn’t exactly scream relaxing, but cooking does made me happy).

Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

For the month of June, I will be sharing some delicious pasta recipes with you. I do believe that I mentioned about sharing some yummy mango recipes with you for this month – but I unfortunately did not have any time at all to make any dishes at all and mangoes are not in season anymore. So here’s a recipe for a classic bolognese sauce with pappardelle and homemade meatballs:

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce

  • 250g pappardelle (or any other pasta)
  • 125g baby brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chicken or beef stock
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, cut into small chunks
  • 1 red birds-eye chilli, sliced (optional for that added kick of spice)
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated

For the meatballs

  • 250g minced beef
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs*
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Bocconcini balls
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

*You can buy readily made bread crumbs from the shelves or you can make your own by lightly toasting some stale bread (if you have some in handy) and then blitz it in the food processor.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. For the meatballs: Add all the ingredients, except for the bocconcini balls, to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Shape the mixture into small to medium-sized balls and press a bocconcini ball (cut into smaller pieces if it is too big) into the meatball. Gently place onto the prepared baking tray and repeat with the remaining meat, about a dozen to fifteen balls altogether depending on the size. Place in the oven and bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. For the sauce: Heat about a tablespoon of oil together with a knob of unsalted butter in a large frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until golden and fragrant, then add the chillies and onions. Sauté until the onions are soft and then add in carrots, followed by the celery, and then the mushrooms. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the dried bay leaves, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Give it a good mix and then turn the heat down to low, cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Finally, add in the capsicum and meatballs, cooking for a further 5-8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle according to packet instructions.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve over the hot pasta. Top with the meatballs and a handful of grated mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

Hello Everyone! To kick off the week, we have something that might not fit people’s fancy. Yes, you read the title right, ANCHOVIES. I know a lot of people hate anchovies, in fact I heard from my manager while she was doing research for her client that there is even a ‘National Pizza with Everything (except Anchovies) Day’ which falls on the 12th of November. Both my manager and I found this ridiculous because we both love us some anchovies. If you too are part of the haters club, then just substitute the anchovies in this recipe for something else.

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

The links to the pizza dough and white-based pizza sauce is linked below in the ingredients list. Now, if you’re like me and don’t have a peel (a shovel-like tool used by bakers to slide loaves of bread, pizzas, and other baked goods into and out of an oven), then make sure that you roll out your pizza dough onto baking paper to ease in transferring the pizza onto the pizza stone.

Anchovies & Capers Pizza Ingredients

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 220C. Place your pizza stone in the oven as well to heat it up.
  2. Roll out your dough to a circle the same size as your pizza stone on a lightly floured surface as thick or thin as you want.
  3. Brush around the edge with a little water, then create a wall of the mozzarella cheese all the way around. Fold the edge over the mozzarella wall and seal it in by pressing down on the damp dough to form a stuffed crust.
  4. Spread a thin layer of sauce onto the dough. Be very careful not to overdo the sauce; if you use too much sauce, it’ll be too rich and also will bubble over the pizza and burn. A quarter cup to a third is just about right per pizza.
  5. Top the pizza with anchovies, bocconcini, capers, cherry tomatoes, chilli flakes, and olives. If these aren’t quite to your fancy, then get creative and top your pizza with your favourite toppings.
  6. Carefully remove the stone from the oven and quickly slide the pizza over the top of the stone. Place it back in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked all the way through. It should not take more than 15 minutes in total.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with fresh rocket leaves before serving.

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

Hello Everyone! Knowing that Muffin Making Monday would fall on ‘Straya Day, I just knew I had to make these muffins. All I can say is that when I was out doing groceries over the weekend, I had so many doubts about this, and I could not even comprehend WHY I decided to do this. I even struggled to place the tiny jar of vegemite into my trolley of groceries. I just could not bring myself to, but in my head I kept saying, “just do it. Do it for ‘Straya Day” and I did (what am I doing to myself).

Besides lamb, vegemite is another ‘Australian thing’. Vegemite has appeared on my blog once before, but for those of you who don’t know, vegemite is like the Australian version of marmite, a popular spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets, crackers, and as well as a filling for various pastries. It is salty, slightly bitter, and apparently is similar to beef bouillon. You’ll either love it or hate it, and I did mention before that I am on the hateful side. The smell for me is a bit off-putting, and I know Vidhya hates it too, so I kept shoving the jar of vegemite up her nose whenever I had the chance to *cheeky grin*.

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

I was too scared to bake a whole dozen muffins because I wasn’t too sure on how the taste would go down with me, so I only baked half a dozen, however, please note that the recipe below is for a full dozen – if you’re like me and don’t want to end up having to throw away the whole batch after eating one, then just half the measurements from the recipe below! Also, a little side note, I followed Sally’s master muffin mix recipe for these, and then added the vegemite and cheese. I only added about a tablespoon of vegemite as I was again afraid that the saltiness of it would overpower the taste of the muffin. But I can tell you that the batter smelled amazingly good!

But to be completely honest, these muffins did NOT taste as bad as I thought they would. It’s sort of like a taste that I cannot really describe. The only issue I had with them this morning was that because knowing that there was vegemite in them, I gagged a couple of times before even putting them in my mouth, so it kind of threw me off just a little bit. Nevertheless, the muffins were beautifully moist though, and I think that all the other ingredients mixed together with the vegemite sort of diluted its taste a bit. They weren’t at all overly salty like I thought they’d perhaps turn out to be. Having said that though, I would probably still never indulge in vegemite just as it is, like on toast or something as they have it here down under.

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | MAKES 6 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 handfuls of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large free range eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-2 tbsp vegemite
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 220C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
  2. Add the baking powder and flour in a large bowl, gently whizzing together until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined. Then add in the milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until the mixture is pale and yellow in colour.
  4. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and lightly mix everything together until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. Then add in the cheese and vegemite, and continue to mix. Be careful as to not over mix the batter; it will result in tough, dense muffins. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy.
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them all the way to the top.
  6. Bake at 220C degrees for 5 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 190C and continue to bake for a further 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.

Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

Breakfast Muffins: Vegemite & Cheese

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com