Meatball Minestrone


I have had this dish a handful of times every year during winter for the last six or seven years. It is one of my favourites and I have it laminated tucked away in my files for many years to come and I hope for you guys too. It is a very simple dish but the beauty is that you can add and subtract what ever you want to make it your own. Once I have moved into my new house and into my new lab (Kitchen) I will start to ramp up things big time. I hope you enjoy.



– 1 Tbsp Grape Seed Oil

– 1 Onion, Finely Chopped

– 1 Garlic Clove, Crushed

– 2 Bacon Rashers, Chopped

– 1 Carrot, Coarsely Chopped

– 1 Stick of Celery, Coarsely Chopped

– 400g Can Tomato Soup

– 2½ Cups Beef Stock

– 1 Cup Pasta Shells

– ½ Cup of Frozen Peas

– Shaved Parmesan


– 500g Beef Mince (But you can use any)

– ¼ Cup of Breadcrumbs

– Salt and Pepper, to Taste


To make the meatballs, mix all ingredients in a bowl by hand. Next you want to roll out your meatballs so that they are about three centimetres in diameter.


Next heat the grape seed oil in a large saucepan over medium heat then add the onion garlic and bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion begins to soften. When this starts to happen add the carrot, celery, tomato soup and the stock. Bring to the boil and add the pasta. Reduce the heat and bring down to a simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.


Add the peas and meatballs to the minestrone, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the meatballs have cooked through. Garnish with parmesan and serve with a nice big crusty roll.

Dont Let the simplicity of this recipe fool you – it is a great recipe and one of my favourites.

Credit to Barbara Northwood

Chicken Cacciatore


One of my most favourite cookbooks is “Polpo – A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts)”. There are some amazing recipes in it and not too hard to make either. This recipe, chicken cacciatore is very easy and is actually my adaptation as the original is is for rabbit (which I have made and is just as good). I can make this recipe without the book and with all the herbs I have in the garden it really makes this dish one of my favourites.



– 500g Chicken

– 3 Carrots, Finely Chopped

– 3 Celery Sticks, Finely Chopped

– 1 Large Onion, Finley Chopped

– 2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped

– 2 Rosemary Sprigs, Leaves Roughly Chopped

– 4 Thyme Sprigs, Leaves Only

– Flakey Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

– A Glass of White Wine

– 2 x 400g Tins of Tomatoes

– 1 Handful of Black Olives, Stoned

– 1 Handful of Flat Leaf Parsley Leaves, Chopped

– I added lemon thyme and sage also



Put the chicken into a plastic bag with enough seasoned flour to coat. Give it a good shake, place into a large pot with 150ml of olive oil and cook until they are nice and browned on all sides. Cook in batches, remove and place to one side. Next add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, turn down the heat and soften for 5 minutes or so.


When the vegetables start to stick, add the glass of wine and while it sizzle and bubbles away scrape up all the flavour bits that are on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, a cup of water and the black olives then bring to the boil. Add the meat and bring back to the boil. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2hrs.

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Taste the sauce and season if necessary. Serve in a large bowel and top with parsley. This dish can be served with Molecular Mash or just with a nice crusty bread. Enjoy.