Chorizo meatball carbonara

I found this recipe in River Cottage Everyday, one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cookcooks.

Pork mince seasoned with paprika and fennel, then shaped into meatballs and together with cream, egg yolks and spaghetti, this is a fab pasta dish. Especially when served with heaps of freshly grated parmesan.

The Swedish way to make meatballs is to add breadcrumbs and an egg to the mixture, which makes the meatballs less compact and juicer, and I think I will apply this next time as these meatballs turned out a bit compact, but the seasoning was spot on.

Chorizo meatballs, makes 15-20

Adapted after Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe.

500 g pork mince

2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1,5 tsp hot smoked paprika

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

salt

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/8 tsp cayennepepper

30 ml red wine

black pepper

olja for frying

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. This is easily done using your hands or a wooden spoon. Roll into small meatballs. Fry in oil.

Carbonara, serves 2

300 g spaghetti

2 egg yolks

50 ml double cream

parmesan

salt, black pepper

Cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain. Mix egg yolks with cream. Add the pasta, salt and pepper. Serve with the meatballs and parmesan. 

 

Mezze: Hummus, chilli dip and flatbread

I have grouped the recipes from Friday’s dinner, so this is the first lot.

When eating mezze it is a must to have a few dips for the bread. The most common one is of course hummus, and here is my version:

Hummus, serves 6 as mezze

1 can chickpeas (400 g)

a splash of water

olive oil

2 tbsp tahini

2-3 tbsp lemon juice

salt

white pepper

1/2 clove garlic

Pour lemon juice, tahini, water and drained chickpeas into a food processor (or use a stick blender) and add some oil. Mix and add oil as you go until the hummus has the desired texture. Season to taste with lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and tahini. 

The next dip is almost as common as hummus in the Middle East, but less known here. The proper version is the one I made with ground almonds, but sometimes you can get a cheaper version were the almonds are substituted by breadcrumbs. We learned the rule in Syria, that if you get the almond-version in a restaurant it is a good restaurant, and if you get the bastard-version then of course, it is not as good.

Muhammara, serves 6 as mezze

120 ml ground almonds (or breadcrumbs)

2-4 garlic cloves

1/2 small onion, finely chopped or 1 tsp onion powder

spicy pepper purée (mine is from Syria, but a combination of sambal oelek and pickled peppers will probably work)

70 ml tahini

70 ml pomegranate molasses

salt

ground cumin

aleppo/cayenne pepper if more heat is required

60 ml olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with cumin and salt. The dip should have she same texture as hummus so adjust accordingly.

Flatbread is another must when it comes to mezze, and the homemade version is miles  better than the storebought option. This recipe is from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Everyday and it is incredibly easy to make. We had a few leftover and I can happily tell you that they were just as good the next day.

Flatbread, makes 8

250 g plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil/ rapeseed oil

150 ml varm water

Pour the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the oil to the water and pour it into the bowl while stiring with a wooden spoon/fork. Mix thorougly and knead with your hands for a few minutes. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide it into eight pieces. Roll each piece flat with a rolling bin with plenty of flour. Heat up a dry frying pan on high heat, then lower to medium heat before cooking each bread for a few minutes on each side.