Recipe by Gary Mehigan, MasterChef Australia Judge
Kimba's Review: I thought I'd try something different. Something that's non-Asian, lol. Something that screams "Italiano!". And guess what was on the cover of my new copy of Australian Good Food magazine this month?? Gary Mehigan's favorite Italian comfort food! I had to try it. I was never really good at this whole Italian cooking thingy, so I had to just try it. Also for the variety of my blog.. it is after all Kimba's World Kitchen and I aim to feature / try out dishes from all around the world :) The result of this experiment... my first thought "WOW, these MasterChefs know what they're doing!" Heheheee. The meatballs were DELICIOUS! Who would've thought a simple thing such as carrot puree would make such a difference to its taste.. and the added parsley! Sumptuous! The rest naturally happened... and I can happily say that I have learnt a great classic, traditional Italian dish today.
1 small carrot, finely grated
30g unsalted butter
400g veal mince
400g pork mince
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
100ml chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
Shaved / grated parmesan to serve
Place carrot, butter and 100ml water in a medium saucepan on low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins, until carrot is soft. Place in a food processor and process until a puree forms. Cool.
Mix minces, breadcrumbs, carrot puree and parsley, if using, in a large bowl. Season well. Using wet hands, shape mixture into meatballs.
Preheat oven to 185C or 165C fan. Heat oil in an ovenproof saucepan or flameproof casserole pan on high. Cook meatballs, turning, for 4-5 mins, until browned all over. Remove from pan. In same pan, cook onion and garlic for 2-3 mins, until soft. Stir through tomato, stock and tomato paste. Return meatballs to pan. Add thyme and bay leaves. Season, reduce heat to medium and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and bake, stirring occasionally, for 45 mins, until thickened.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet directions. Drain.
Toss to combine meatballs and pasta (Kimba's Note: My photo above wasn't tossed, just spooned on top of cooked pasta). Top with grated cheese and serve.