Recipes of the week: Orecchiette with meatballs & Moroccan slow-roasted lamb shoulder

I remembered to take photos of my food this week, but they’re not very good! The lighting isn’t great at dinner time during winter and I’m too busy serving to do pretty plating.

While they’re not much to look at, they tasted yum.

There was also a roast pumpkin & chickpea massaman curry that my friends loved, but I figure two recipes is enough for one blog post. It’s a simple one, using Ayam curry paste, but full of flavour. The roast pumpkin is so delicious that you don’t even notice there’s no meat in the dish.

When I packed the food to take it to my friend’s house, I popped in a packet of Golden Gaytime popcorn as a treat. Have you tried to? So good!

Moroccan slow-roasted lamb shoulder with pomegranate cous cous

1 lamb shoulder, bone in

1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning

olive oil

COUS COUS

1 onion, chopped

2 tsps Moroccan seasoning

500ml chicken stock

1/2 box dried cous cous

10 pitted kalamata olives, halved

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (Woolies sells fresh seeds depending on the season – if there aren’t any, you could try using diced dried apricots or currants)

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped

1/3 bunch fresh mint, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Tzatziki

METHOD: Mix 1 tablespoon of Moroccan seasoning with olive oil to form a paste and rub over lamb. Pour 1 cup of water into an ovenproof dish with a tight-sealing lid. Place lamb in the dish, cover and bake at 160C until it’s fall-apart tender.

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the Moroccan seasoning and cook for one minute. Boil the chicken stock and add to a saucepan with the onion mixture and cous cous. Put the lid on and let it steam for 10 mins. Add a little boiling water if the cous cous needs more moisture. Fluff the cous cous with a fork. Top with the olives, pomegranate, pine nuts, fresh herbs and crumbled feta.

Fork apart the lamb and serve it with cous cous and dollops of tzatziki.

TIP: I use the leftover lamb to make this delicious recipe from Jamie Oliver: Crispy Moroccan-Style Lamb Pastilla

Tomato & basil orecchiette with meatballs

This dish uses “cheat’s meatballs” – when I’m in a hurry, I just removing my fave sausages from their casings and turn each one into four little meatballs.

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

4-6 sausages, removed from casings & quartered into meatballs

1 jar passata

1/2 bunch of fresh basil, chopped

Salt to taste

1 pkt dried orecchiette pasta

Parmesan to serve

METHOD: Saute onion in olive for a minute, then add meatballs to pan and saute until browned. Add passata and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir through the fresh basil and simmer for another few minutes. Add salt to taste. Boil pasta, drain and add to the sauce. Toss. Serve sprinkled with parmesan.

PS If you fancy making your own meatballs, the main pic is ORECCHIETTE WITH BAKED MINI CHICKEN MEATBALLS IN TOMATO CREAM SAUCE from Little Broken.

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