Get-t♡gethers: Bellissimo Spaghetti & Meatballs & Alcohol-free Tiramisu

I love Italian and I love having good old friends over. The majority of my friends have kids and its always fun having them over but daunting too, when you have to cook for 4+heads including picky kids.

I wanted to cook something delicious and filling but didn’t want to spend all my time in the kitchen when I should be hosting and getting involved in conversation. I thought to myself “ok, what do most kids like?” Duh, spaghetti! and “whats spaghtetti’s best friend?”meatballs of course!

I learned my meatball making from my mama but added an italiano twist with the parmesan. This recipe is very easy and is adapted to be as rich and flavourful as those with haram ingredients in. I use pomegranate or cranberry juice to my sauce (yep it actually works!) it adds depth to my sauce but also a subtle fruity note that goes perfectly with meatballs!

Sticking with my italian theme I had some antipasti on the dinner table and fresh salad to accompany the meal. For dessert I opted for a good old tiramisu as I haven’t had one of these for a while I thought it would do perfectly for the evenings mandatory cup of tea. Again with only halal ingredients, non of that marsala wine or vanilla extract with the unnecessary alcohol. Just good old halal creamy strong tiramisu!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

▪️500g mince beef

▪️45g breadcrumbs

▪️60g grated parmesan cheese

▪️1tbsp parsley (chopped)

▪️1/4tsp ground nutmeg

▪️1 large egg (beaten)

▪️1tbsp olive oil

▪️1 onion (chopped)

▪️3 garlic cloves (minced)

▪️60ml cranberry juice (can also use pomegranate)

▪️1 can chopped tomatoes

▪️1tbsp parsley (chopped)

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METHOD:

-In a large bowl combine the mince beef, breadcrumbs, parmesan, nutmeg, egg, about 60ml of warm water and season. With your hands roll the meat mix in to medium-sized meatballs (add more water to bind if necessary).

-In a large pan heat some oil on medium-low heat. In batches, without overcrowding the pan, brown the meatballs well all over ( should take about 10mins). Remove from the pan and transfer to plate.

-For the sauce, heat the olive oil in the same pan on medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 8mins. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Pour in the juice and cook on high heat until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, parsley & season to taste.

-Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover & simmer on the lowest heat for 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve on spaghetti and a generous sprinkling of parmesan and parsley leaves.

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◼️ ◼️ ◼️

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WHAT YOULL NEED:

▪️500ml Cold coffee

▪️175g sponge/lady fingers

▪️250g Mascarpone cheese

▪️85ml Milk

▪️2tbsp creme fraiche

▪️3tsp alcohol free vanilla extract or almond extract

▪️1tbsp icing sugar

▪️1tbsp cocoa powder

◼️

METHOD:

-In a large bowl whisk together the mascarpone, milk, crème frâiche, and vanilla/almond extract. Add the powdered sugar and mix very well. The consistency should seem like a pouring cream (add little milk if needed).

-Coat the bottom of a rectangular glass tray with a layer of the creamy mixture.

-Soak each sponge finger in the cold coffee one by one for about 10 seconds, so sponge can absorb enough coffee, yet not so much that it falls apart.

-Line the pan with one row of sponge fingers then smooth over some mascarpone mix on top. Repeat with a couple more layers or until your sponge fingers and cream mix have finished.

-Finally dust the top with the cocoa powder and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

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