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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day on May 17th

Get ready for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day!

Dedicated to cooking with fresh ingredients and getting kids on the right path to eating a healthy diet, Jamie Oliver has created a food revolution with his creation on the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. He hopes to “keep cooking skills alive” and reconnect people with the importance and responsibility of eating right.

A culmination of his efforts with the campaign, May 17th marks Food Revolution Day. Celebrate cooking, eating and quality family time spent in the kitchen, which is what Yum Food & Fun for Kids is all about. Here, Jamie shares one of his recipes for a classic kid-favorite: Meatballs and Pasta. #FRD2013

“Meatballs are fantastic! They’re perfect like this, with a homemade tomato sauce and spaghetti, but you could also try them with rice, mashed potatoes, polenta or simple chunks of fresh crusty bread. I like to make meatballs with a mixture of beef and pork, as I think it gives a really wonderful flavour and texture.”

Equipment List:

Chopping board
Tea towel
Measuring spoons
Large saucepan
2 large frying pans
Wooden spoon
Serving spoon or ladle

Meatballs and Pasta

Serves 6

4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
12 Jacob’s cream crackers
2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
500g good-quality lean minced beef, pork, or a mixture of the two
1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano
1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
A bunch of fresh basil
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
½ a fresh or dried red chilli
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
400g dried spaghetti or penne
25g Parmesan cheese, for grating

To make your meatballs:
1. Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and finely chop them.
2. Wrap the crackers in a tea towel and smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands. Add to a mixing bowl with the mustard, minced meat, chopped rosemary and oregano. Crack in the egg and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
3. With clean hands, scrunch and mix up well. Divide into 4 large balls. With wet hands, divide each ball into 6 and roll into little meatballs–you should end up with 24.
4. Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and jiggle them about so they all get coated. Put them on a plate, cover, and place in the fridge until needed.

To cook your pasta, meatballs, and sauce:
5. Pick the basil leaves, keeping any smaller ones to one side for later. Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic. Finely slice the chilli.
6. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil.
7. 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 for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden. Then add your garlic and chilli, and as soon as they start to get some colour add the large basil leaves. Add the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and season to taste.
8. Meanwhile, heat another frying pan and add a lug of olive oil and your meatballs. Stir them around and cook for 8–10 minutes until golden (check they’re cooked by opening one up–there should be no sign of pink).
9. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer until the pasta is ready, then remove from the heat. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions.

To serve your spaghetti and meatballs:
10. Saving some of the cooking water, drain the pasta in a colander. Return the pasta to the pan.
11. Spoon half the tomato sauce into the pasta, adding a little splash of your reserved water to loosen.
12. Serve on a large platter, or in separate bowls, with the rest of the sauce and meatballs on top. Sprinkle over the small basil leaves and some grated Parmesan.

Jamie’s Top Tips:

• If you like a smooth sauce just whizz the finished sauce with a blender, but give the sauce a chance to cool slightly before you do.
• Double the recipe and make 24 meatballs. Freeze 12 of them before or after browning them and you’ll have half the work done for your next spaghetti and meatball meal.
• Wet your hands before you start rolling you meatballs – this will stop the meat sticking to your hands and will make your life much easier!

Recipe and photography courtesy of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

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