Cheese-stuffed meatballs

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

Cook­ing has brought me closer to the peo­ple I love. I trea­sure the con­nec­tions I feel with the beau­ti­ful cooks in my life who aren’t phys­i­cally with us any­more, es­pe­cially my nan, Edna White, Mick’s mother, Kath­leen Good­win, his grand­mother, Imelda Henebery, and my friend, Julie Wil­son. They live on in my cook­ing and in my mem­ory.

The point I find my­self at is as the par­ent of three sons who are new adults. They are all still at home right now, but I guess the clock is tick­ing. Although I have taught them what cook­ing knowl­edge I could over the years, I feel an al­most des­per­ate need to get all the im­por­tant recipes, in­for­ma­tion and tips to­gether, so that when they go, they’re set.

My Es­sen­tial Cook­book is a col­lec­tion of ev­ery­thing I think is im­por­tant to know in or­der to nour­ish your­self and the peo­ple you love, the recipes that bring back child­hood mem­o­ries for me and my kids. It’s the lit­tle bits of kitchen wis­dom that have been handed down through gen­er­a­tions, or passed on from friends, or dis­cov­ered by ac­ci­dent, or through trial and er­ror. It’s the book I want my boys to have when they have fam­i­lies of their own.

I want them to have these recipes, not just so they can cook well, but so they can cook for the peo­ple in their lives and, through that act of love, draw them closer and make them feel val­ued. So they can cre­ate new mem­o­ries of their own and, by do­ing that, be truly con­nected to the patch­work of our fam­ily through gen­er­a­tions. So they can have fam­ily meals like we have – gath­ered around a table, ap­pre­ci­at­ing the food, laugh­ing and talk­ing about the day.

So their chil­dren might de­velop their own pas­sion for cook­ing and pay it for­ward to their chil­dren.

Cheese-stuffed meatballs

SERVES 6 PREP TIME 20 MIN­UTES COOK­ING TIME 1 HOUR

750g pork mince 250g premium beef mince 4 eggs 1 cup grated parme­san 1 large gar­lic clove, crushed 1½ cups fresh bread­crumbs salt and freshly ground black pep­per 200g moz­zarella cheese, cut into 1cm cubes spaghetti and fresh basil, for serv­ing

SAUCE

1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil 2 gar­lic cloves, finely chopped 2 brown onions, finely chopped 2 x 600ml jars tomato pas­sata ½ tea­spoon dried oregano 1 tea­spoon salt ½ tea­spoon black pep­per 2 tea­spoons sugar 2 tea­spoons red wine vine­gar

1 Com­bine all the meat­ball in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the moz­zarella in a large bowl, and use your hands to mix thor­oughly. Us­ing damp hands, roll into meatballs about the size of a golf ball, keep­ing the size uni­form. Press a cube of moz­zarella into the meat­ball and make sure it is com­pletely cov­ered with the mince mix­ture. Place on a plate and re­frig­er­ate for at least 30 min­utes be­fore cook­ing.

2 SAUCE Heat the oil in a large chef pan over medium-low heat. Add the gar­lic and onion and sauté gen­tly un­til the onion be­comes trans­par­ent. Be care­ful not to brown it. Stir in the pas­sata, oregano, salt, pep­per, sugar and vine­gar. Sim­mer the sauce for 5 min­utes or un­til it thick­ens slightly. Taste and add more salt, sugar or vine­gar, as re­quired.

3 Drop the chilled meatballs into the sauce and sim­mer for 1 hour. 4 Serve meatballs tossed through spaghetti, sprin­kled with fresh basil.

Cheese-stuffed meatballs

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