Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Best Dinner Ever!

How often can you start a post with "The Best Dinner Ever"? Well it was! I have enjoyed a few moments of the program Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I never have time to see the whole thing, but while I give Katie a breathing treatment, we watch it on Friday nights. (I really live on the edge of excitement)!

I went to his website and found this oh so healthy and yummy recipe. I encourage you to go to his website and see all the great ideas he posts. I'm posting this recipe because it's so easy and you probably have most of the ingredients.

Meatballs and Pasta

4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (how much is a sprig? I used about a tsp and a half)
12 plain crackers (I doubled this recipe and used 1/2 cup of oatmeal)
2 heaped tsp. of dijon mustard (I used regular mustard and didn't measure)
1 pound good quality ground beef or pork or a mixture of the two. (I used 2 lbs of grassfed beef)
1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano
1 large egg (I used 2)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Olive oil
Small bunch of fresh basil
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 a fresh or dried red chile
2 cans of tomatoes 140z. ( I used 1 can and then 2 cups fresh tomatoes)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( I used red wine vinegar)
1 pound of dried spaghetti or penne
Parmesan cheese for grating (I used the already grated kind not the shake kind)

To make your meatballs

Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and finely chop them. Break up the crackers into crumbs. ( I use whatever "binding" agent I have on hand. You can use bread crumbs, cracker crumbs or oatmeal) Add to the bowl with mustard, ground meat, chopped rosemary and oregano. Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together. Divide into 4 large balls then divide each ball into 6 and roll into little meatballs- you should end up with 24. I doubled this and ended up with 71! They were small, but they went a looong way! I froze half uncooked. Drizzle them with olive oil and jiggle them so they all get coated. I cooked them in the oven on 350. I don't know how long I cooked them, but be sure you don't overcook them.

To cook your pasta and sauce

Pick the basil leaves, keeping any smaller ones to one side for later. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Finely slice the chile. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Next, heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add 2 lugs of olive oil. Add your onion to the frying pan and stir around for 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden. Then add your garlic and chile and as soon as they start to get some color add the large basil leaves. Add the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Bring to boil and season to taste. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer until the pasta is ready.

Serve with the small basil leaves sprinkled over the dish and fresh parmesan.

We loved this dish. Must say I didn't sprinkle small basil leaves over the dish! Go figure. I put it on the plates and we ate without anyone saying what's this green stuff!!! I served this with garlic bread. I was going to make a salad, but decided this was enough. Next time, I'm going to double the sauce recipe. I think this sauce would be wonderful as a pizza sauce! The meatballs are in the freezer, so next time it will be a quick meal that only needs sauce! If you have any questions, please ask!

Hilltop Blessings,


  1. I love the way you feel free to make your own substitutions to a recipe! That's what I like to do too. I'll be sure to check out Jamie's website. I used to enjoy his cooking shows, but now we're down to basic cable, by choice, and I don't think we get his show.

    By the way, I finally answered your question about foraging books on my gardening blog, if you'd like to read it on Garden Report--April 8th. Hope it helps!

  2. Mrs. T,
    With as many people as we have here and as busy as we are, there is no way I could live peacefully if I had to follow every direction to the letter! I'm doing good to just to try new recipes! Thanks again for your comments. I'll check out your gardening blog. Have a great day!