something for the delayed rainy season


It seems that finally, fingers crossed, the rains may have arrived. Today has been cold and mizzly (yes that is a word, and Farrow & Ball even have a paint colour called Mizzle), and that means you need a tummy warming, filling hit of comfort food. Comfort comfort comfort. It's not something we all go for out here when we know that at any point the urge to zip down to the Indian Ocean could come at any time, and that would mean getting into something skimpy, which would mean meatballs on the menu were a bad idea. However, assuming you don't have any coast plans right now, and that you are happy to be wrapped up in chunky jumpers, this is the meal for you! Make it. Tonight. And feel good. 


500 gms good quality beef mince
1 tsp fennel seeds
50 gms breadcrumbs
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
400 gms chopped tinned tomatoes
50 gms parmesan
Pinch of sugar
Handful of fresh parsley
Crusty bread to serve

Put the mince, parmesan, fennel seeds, breadcrumbs, and garlic in a bowl. Season and mix well. Roll into walnut-sized balls. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the meatballs and brown - remove to a plate. Pop the onion, fennel and carrot in the pan and fry gently for 8 - 10 minutes until golden. Add the tomatoes, fill the tin with water and add this, along with the sugar. Bring to the boil, return the meatballs and simmer until they're cooked and the sauce has reduced. Stir in the parsley, grate over the parmesan and serve either with bread or soft mashed tatties.