The Feast (Part 2) - Meatball pasta with tomatoes, chilli and basil, Lemon and thyme chicken casserole

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Main course

Bernadette Le Roux’s meatball pasta with tomatoes, chilli and basil

Description: Meatball pasta with tomatoes, chilli and basil

Meatball pasta with tomatoes, chilli and basil

This is one of my favourite winter comfort foods: Italian-style meatballs in a homemade tomato, chilli and basil sauce on linguine with lashings of fresh Parmesan

Serves 4-6

·         500g linguine or spaghetti extra virgin olive oil, to serve freshly grated Parmesan, to serve


·         2 tbsp olive oil

·         1 onion, finely chopped

·         2 cloves garlic, crushed

·         1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

·         800g lean beef mince, preferably topside

·         1 handful parsley, finely chopped

·         1 free-range egg, beaten


·         2 tbsp olive oil

·         1 onion, finely sliced

·         1 red chilli, finely sliced

·         2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

·         5 ripe plum tomatoes, roungly chopped

·         1 can whole, peeled tomatoes

·         1 handful basil, finely chopped

·         1 tsp sugar

For the meatballs: sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Tip into a mixing bowl and mix in the remaining meatball ingredients. Roll balls of meat, to the desired size, in the palms of your hands. Fly in batches until golden and cooked through. Set aside.

For the tomato sauce: sauté the onion, chilli and garlic in olive oil until the onion is translucent but not yet browned. Add the fresh and conned tomatoes and leave to simmer on a very low heat while you cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

Once the tomatoes have broken down nicely, add the sugar and basil, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Tip the meatballs into the tomato sauce and heat through.

Place a twirl of spaghetti or linguine into individual bowls or on a platter and top with the meatballs in tomato sauce. Serve with loads of Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling.

Thekla Salmon’s lemon and thyme chicken casserole

Description: Lemon and thyme chicken casserole

Lemon and thyme chicken casserole

I think this recipe is perfect for ELLE readers because it is good old-fashioned comfort food with an edge of rustic elegance and it is so quick and easy to put together

Serve 4-6

·         2 small ripe lemons

·         2 tbsp olive oil

·         2 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard

·         4 tbsp peach chutney

·         1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (11/2 tsp of dried thyme)

·         1 tsp salt

·         1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

·         8 chicken pieces (4 legs and 4 thighs with the skin on)

·         6 small potatoes, well washed with skins on and quartered

·         6 shallots (or 4 small onions), with skins on, halved or quartered

·         1 whole bulb of garlic, cut in half across the width with skin still on extra salt, pepper and fresh thyme for seasoning

Preheat your oven to 160oC and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Make your marinade in a casserole dish large enough to hold all the ingredients. Havle the lemons and squeeze them by hand into the dish, picking out any pips. Place the squeezed-out lemon halves in the dish (they will give off a great aroma while baking).

Add the oil, mustard, chutney, thyme, salt and pepper to the lemon juice and mix up to combine. Add your chicken pieces and swish them around the dish to cover them with the sauce. Leave them skin-side up for baking.

Add the potatoes to the dish, also covering them with the sauce. Add the shallots and the bulb of garlic slightly broken up. Arrange all the ingredients so that they look attractive and also so that the skin of the chicken is exposed for roasting.

Season the dish with the extra salt and freshly ground black pepper and scatter with the fresh thyme sprigs. Bake for about 45 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are tender. If they have not got enough colour, you can turn up the grill for few a minutes until the chicken is golden brown.

Serve with fine green beans, lightly steamed until bright green in colour and still firm. Toss them with butter, a little salt and flaked almonds.

Kobus Van Der Merwe’s pan-fried angelfish with apple, gooseberries and caper butter

Lightly fry four fillets of angelfish in a little vegetable oil. Add two tablespoons of butter, and a handful of capers and fresh gooseberries to the pan. Allow the butter to brown a little and then baste the fish with it until it is almost cooked through. Place the fillets on warm plates and top each one with a thin slice or two of green apple. Spoon the gooseberries and caper butter over the fillets. Serve with slices of boiled potato and a spoonful of steamed vegetables.

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