Friday, December 18, 2009

Cavatelli with meatballs and fresh peas

If you want to know how to make cavatelli click this link Mark in Cleveland and you get lots of photos and a very clear description. Discovering that ricotta can be added to the pasta dough was enlightening [thanks Mark!], and since then i am also making tagliatelle e lasagna with ricotta in the pasta dough, actually not really ricotta but my home made labneh, because there is no ricotta in India.

Spaghetti with meatballs is the most famous Italo-American invention, and Americans think that is Italian, never heard of it in Italy, though in the South we make 'Pasta al Forno' with meatballs and more, a very rich baked dish made with short pasta [never spaghetti], tomato sauce, hard boiled eggs, calabrese hot salami, fried eggplants, scamorza or caciocavallo, grated parmigiano and meatballs [unforgettable mom's recipe]. And as usual every cook makes his own variation.

Ingredients for my meatballs recipe:
  • 100 grams ground beef [possibly mixed with pork]
  • 1 slice of bread soaked in milk and squeezed
  • half beaten egg
  • 2 spoons of grated parmigiano
  • 1 small garlic clove - minced
  • 2 sprigs of parsley minced [stem removed]
Mix all ingredients with your hands and make small balls [half inch] between your hands or with a spoon in one hand and the palm of the other hand.

Ingredients for the sauce:
  • Pelati [Canned Italian tomato]
  • Onion
  • bay leaf
  • Basil
  • Meatballs
  • Fresh peas [as in India this is the time, but also frozen will do]
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Heat the oil and sauté minced onions with bay leaf until onions turn transparent.
  2. Remove bay leaf and add pelati, basil and fresh peas.
  3. Fry the meatballs lightly in extra virgin olive oil and add them to the sauce.
  4. Cook the sauce until bubbling holes start appearing on the surface.
  5. Boil cavatelli in salty water and when ready add them to the sauce until again the bubbling holes tell you the sauce is thick enough and ready.
  6. Serve with grated parmigiano.

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