Deconstructed … taking family dinner apart

We can cook

We can cook

Dinner can be a time consuming drag. I know, even foodies get over the whole workday dinner thing.

I am tiring of making two separate dinners. One for a finicky small person and one for everyone else. I am looking forward to one dinner. Even though I think it will still be a while, I live in hope. While I am still making two meals I am looking for short cuts. Sometimes it is our dinner than gets the short cut. I also like the idea of using all the same ingredients and making two dishes. A challenge then. Could I make a meatball and pasta dish which would please both small people and myself? And could it be fast. (Of course my child wouldn’t eat this ‘mixed’ up meal. I just take his meatballs out and save some of the pasta and serve it separately.)

Deconstructed lasagne – serves two adults and two kids (depending on the day)

serve with a bitter leaf salad and bread

300 g pork and veal mince

1 small red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 piece of celery

basil – a handful of leaves

4 rashers of bacon

1 cup of macaroni or pasta shape that takes about 10 minutes to cook

1 x 500g jar of tomato sauce (note: this can be sugo you made last summer, or a good bought one)

salt and pepper

200g mozzarella – grated

Deconstructed lasagne

Deconstructed lasagne

Pre-heat oven to 180. Boil water to cook the pasta. Meanwhile, in a food processor (or use your excellent knife skills) blitz onion, garlic, celery and basil until finely chopped. Finely chop the bacon. In a bowl combine mince, bacon and processed ingredients. Season and mix together. Form into about 12 evenly sized meatballs. Put macaroni on to boil. In a frypan brown the meatballs in some olive oil in two batches.

When the meatballs are evenly browned, transfer into a small baking dish that holds about 2.5 litres – there should be a bit of space around them. Pour tomato sauce over the meatballs. Before the pasta is fully cooked – about 8 out of 10 minutes – drain. Spread pasta over the top of tomato sauce. Cover the dish with foil. Cook for about 15 minutes. Then take off foil, mix so pasta is under the meatballs and then top with cheese,  and return to the oven. Cook until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Enjoy and live for the day when your child will happily eat it too.