I do not think I ever cooked a proper meal before I met Husband-Gusto. My parents are both exceptional cooks, and they always cooked perfectly happily. My repertoire- until I was 30- was confined to cooking cheese on toast, and sometimes if I was feeling adventurous tinned sweetcorn on toast. H-G is also a great cook but when we first started going out, I found myself wanting to impress him with my cooking- and so my food obsession was born.
Recently however when my parents came to visit, my father agreed to cook his signature dish- Polpette soup- for the blog. ‘Polpette’ is the Italian word for meatballs, but Polpette soup sounds a great deal more exotic than ‘meatball soup’. The results, however, are glorious. We used to have this soup on lazy, wintry Sunday afternoons, complete with lots of crusty bread, parsley and parmesan. The English summer this year has had lots in common with cold Melbourne winters, so we had this last week.
Mixed dry herbs- to taste (we use a tablespoon)
Mix ingredients together and shape into golfball sized balls. Chill for a while so they harden. (This will help them stay in shape when you brown them).
After chilling, brown the balls in olive oil in a shallow pan a few at a time then set aside.
4 cloves finely diced garlic
1 finely diced onion
3 ribs celery diced
3 carrots- diced, but not too small
Beef stock (homemade, or use 10 stock cubes in water)
Dried mixed herbs
Lots of tomato paste- the soup should be a deep red colour
½ pint red wine for soup
1 glass of red wine for the cook
Spiral pasta – several good handfuls
Sautee onions, celery, garlic and carrots for 10 minutes in olive oil.
Add beef stock, water, wine, herbs and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 minutes
Add beef meatballs, bring to boil, simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off until ready to heat.
This is best made several hours in advance. When you are about 20 minutes from wanting to eat, bring soup to the boil, add the spiral pasta and cook until pasta ready. Add parmesan, finely chopped parsley and serve.