I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tomato Soup with Spaghetti and Chicken Meatballs & Calzones

Last night I got "The Darlings" to eat soup!!!   That might not seem like such a big deal to you - but believe me it is.  To say they are "food challenged" is probably an understatement.  I take little steps, and try to encourage them to try more.

I looked at this recipe - all the components were things they would eat - and the best part - sooo easy to make!!!

Tomato Soup with Spaghetti and Chicken Meatballs

Serve 4-6

1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbs tomato paste
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1.25L (5 cups) chicken stock
500g thin chicken sausages
200g thin spaghetti, broken into 5cm lengths

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until softened.  Add the garlic and the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for a further 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, while you are making the meatballs.

Place the remaining 2 /12 cups of chicken stock into a large saucepan.  For the meatballs,  make a cut in the end of the sausages, and gently squeeze off small balls of sausage meat into the stock.  Should make approximately 30 small meatballs.  Bring the stock to the boil and, then simmer gently for approximately 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.  With a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs to a plate.  Return the stock to the boil, and then add the spaghetti.  Cook until the spaghetti is al dente (approximately 10 minutes).  I found that there was not really too much liquid left at this point so I didn't bother draining the spaghetti.

At this point use a stick blender to puree the tomato mixture until smooth.  Add the meatballs and the spaghetti to the tomato mixture and bring back to the boil.

Serve garnished with chopped basil and parmesan cheese.

It took a little convincing but they all ate it!!!

To go with the soup there was home made Calzones.  It was the first time I have made them - they were a little rustic - and the dough was quite gooey and so it tended to break open in places - but they were pretty good.

Chicken Meatball and Ham Calzone

Serves 4

250ml warm water
2 tsp (7g / 1 sachet) dried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
2 1/2 cups plain flour (I used the Italian 00 flour)
pinch of salt
1 tbs olive oil, plus extra to grease
400g chicken sausages - make meatballs like we did for the soup, gently fry them to cook
100g shredded ham
1/2 red capsicum, thinly sliced and then dry pan fried until very soft and slightly "charred"
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
garlic olive oil to spray

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a jug - leave in a warm place for 5 minutes, or until frothy.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre.  Add the yeast mixture and oil.  Use a spoon to stir until well combined.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Brush the bowl with a little oil, place the dough in the bowl.  Cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours).

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.

Preheat the oven to 230C.  Line a large baking try with non stick baking paper.

Roll the dough out into circles - place pizza sauce, meatballs, ham and mozzarella cheese over half of the dough, then fold over and to enclose the filling.  Transfer to the baking tray.  Lightly spray with the olive oil spray.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.

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