Marvellous, Moist, Moreish
What other adjectives can I add to describe tonight’s meal?
Winning, Warming, Wonderful
Wholesome, Flavoursome, Satisfying
Actually, lets just throw out the thesaurus and cut to the chase.
MY KIDS ATE ALL OF THIS MEAL AND EVERYONE WAS HAPPY! HOORAY.
Its been a long time between drinks everybody…. a long time.
So it is such a treat when there was no bickering, no whining, no claims to being full, tired or sick.
No need for a drink of water, or a trip to the toilet or written contracts negotiating dessert.
No tears, no tantrums or treats for the dog (sorry Halle).
Just blessed silence and eating.
If only you could have seen the drama that unfolded at the table last night. You would have gained an instant appreciation for my jubilation tonight. (Needless to say Miss 18 months had her first night going to bed without any dinner – and if you are interested it was corn fritters that i was trying to poison her with)
Before I even show you the ‘pretty’ pictures of tonight’s meal, I want to show you this one first.
So, how did we get here to this image of an empty table with empty plates?
Chicken Spaghetti Meatballs.
I cannot even remember where I got this recipe from. Its one of those ones I have picked up along the way (I think from an italian pasta book at Mum’s that has long since gone).
I do not usually measure the ingredients (but have given some estimates here in the recipe below). But the combination of chicken, thyme, lemon and parmesan work so well that this dish is always a winner.
A few notes to mention
- I use fresh breadcrumbs in this recipe
- I use chicken thighs and mince them up myself in the food processor. I have gotten the butcher to do it for me too and it has never been a problem. I find the meatballs are much moister this way.
- I usually use a good quality passata sauce as the sauce base and add 2 tsp of sugar whilst it is simmering. This time i used the left over tomato soup I made the other day and added a little more passata sauce to bulk it out.
To make the mince mix, add all the ingredients into a bowl and season well with salt and white pepper. Mix together well with your hands.
Grab yourself a heavy based frypan and drizzle with some olive oil. Heat it up over a medium heat and add your meatballs to the hot pan. My frypan is big so I managed to fit them all in one, but do not overcrowd them as you will need to be able to roll them around. Brown them in two batches if necessary.
To turn the meatballs, i just help them shift a little using the tongs and then i just shake the pan vigarously back and forth and they seem to roll around with ease.
Once the meatballs are well browned add your passata sauce or left over tomato soup to the pan and simmer, uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes until your chicken meatballs are cooked through (it will depend how big the meatballs are. Just cut one through to check)
And that is all there is to it. Place a big pot of water on the boil and cook yourself some pasta of your choosing (my favourite is spaghetti or fettucine) and serve with a little extra parmesan cheese on top.
The verdict tonight ….read the top of the article. I am happy.
Chicken Spaghetti Meatballs
500g chicken thighs, minced
1 1/2 cups (80g) fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbs chopped parsley
6 thyme sprigs, stems removed and chopped (1 tbs once chopped)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
finely grated zest of 1 small lemon or 1/2 a big lemon
Salt and pepper to season
2 tbs Olive oil to fry
Extra parmesan to serve
Left over tomato soup OR
7oog good quality passata sauce with 2 tsp castor sugar added OR
your favourite quality pasta sauce
Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Mix together with your hands. Roll into small balls (approx walnut size) and place on tray until ready to cook. Add olive oil to a frypan and heat over medium to high heat. Once hot, add meatballs being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Do in two batches if necessary. Once meatballs are browned but not cooked through add jar of passata sauce or leftover tomato soup as discussed in body of text. Add sugar and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
Meanwhile, bring some salted water to the boil. Add spaghetti or fettucini to water and boil until cooked as per packets instruction. Add cooked pasta to the sauce mix and serve. Add some extra parmesan cheese before serving.