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).
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:
PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4
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.
- Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle according to packet instructions.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and serve over the hot pasta. Top with the meatballs and a handful of grated mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!
– Ally xx