Sunday, February 6, 2011

I bet your Superbowl party's meatballs weren't stuffed with smoked mozzerella.

Pancetta and 3 kinds of cheese?  Yes, please, even if I took 3 trips to the grocery store to make this meal, and spent enough to feed a small country.  I don't recall how I came across this recipe, but I'm guessing I was on the prowl for a way to use smoked mozzarella.  So Giada's Bucatini All'Amatriciana with Spicy smoked Mozzarella Meatballs was the answer, even though I can't pronounce All'Amatriciana to save my life. And I've only had All'Amatriciana sauce once before this and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Sizzlin' pancetta...doesn't quite smell as good as sizzlin' bacon but still makes me happy.

What a frickin' process.  This also started as an idea for me to make on Sunday and bring to work all week.  Then it turned into a friend coming over.  And other, who doesn't eat beef, and another, who is a vegetarian.  So I have the sauce WITH pancetta, and then just a tasty sauce without it.  I added an extra can of diced tomatoes to the sauce and used my handy dandy immersion blender to give a chunky but more even texture.  Then I made all beef meatballs (I didn't use veal as the recipe calls for), and all turkey meatballs.  The recipe didn't say to pan sear them, but I did, and then put them in the oven for a little bit.  For the life of me I couldn't find bucatini so whole grain thin spaghetti works fine for me, altho homemade pasta will be coming soon.  And on the side, my first attempt at broccolini, per a friend's request, and some regular broccoli, too.  Oh, and a crusty loaf of Italian time I'll make the bread.

This was UNBELIEVABLY good.  Like, it might be the best thing I've ever made.  Even my vegetarian friend ate a turkey meatball.   The flavors of the sauce blended really well after I refrigerated it for a few hours and then reheated before dinner.  And the meatballs - wow.  I have to say, I'm pretty darn excited to eat this for lunch tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next day.  And probably the next day. 

And we can't forget dessert, which I actually made first, with the intentions of bringing to work tomorrow for a co-worker's birthday.  If you put coffee in a brownie, does that make it breakfast?  There's no way these cappuccino brownies won't cause instant joy.  I'm a huge fan of adding fun things to brownie/cookie/cake batter or making one thing (brownie) taste like another (cappuccino).  I'm pretty pumped to bring these into work tomorrow!  How to get new friends at a new job...

My friends & I decided that we should probably eat ice cream with the brownies since we all ran/hiked/swam/biked/did many athletic things today, so we picked up some caramel coffee ice cream to make them into sundaes.  Perfect end to a perfect day!!!

And as a side note, to counteract the amount of sugar and bacon used in the kitchen this weekend, I did A LOT of running.  I got an email asking if there would be a diet blog to follow the cooking blog.  So Friday I ran 6 miles, 3 on Saturday, and 5 on Sunday, followed by a bike ride.  That, plus being on my feet in the kitchen for a solid 10 hours this weekend (and I actually hate sampling while I'm cooking), and serving all of my treats to other people, is the plan!  Move more, eat more GOOD food!

Now THAT is enough cooking out of me for a few days.  Rebecca comes home tonight and hopefully I've cleaned up the damage enough that maybe she will make something fabulous to post this week.  Otherwise...our project for next weekend is pretty much going to rock!

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