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Video: Mmm! Irish spaghetti and meatballs

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    >>> this morning on "today"'s holiday kitchen, italian favorites with an irish twist. from a bowl of spaghetti to risotto, warms you up on a cold winter 's day. kathryn fulvio has taken italy and feuds them with the irish heritage to make catherine's favorites.

    >> thank you. i'm delighted to be here. thank you for having me.

    >> we're delighted to have you. your restaurant because a big hit .

    >> they had all my chickens and everything last year.

    >> we brought you here.

    >> you did.

    >> what is a lovely irish girl doing cooking italian food .

    >> when you live in ireland , i met my husband on my first day in ireland in a pub in dublin. we started this whole italian ireland thing.

    >> i have for you polpette polpette di melanzane. we call them eggplants, you roast off your eggplant in the oven and scoop out the interior like so.

    >> do you put olive oil in all of that?

    >> yes. salt and pepper . squeeze out the excess liquid and bring it over here. it doesn't look so attractive like this. it's what you do with it.

    >> it's a much healthier meatball.

    >> my children, very fussy about vegetables love this.

    >> i will have to sneak this in on them. this is pepperina going in and mint. this is my husband's recipe. the whole family's recipe. garlic is going in.

    >> yes. got ha tof he garlic.

    >> egg yolk. it all gets stirred up together. we make a to mato sauce to go with this. and make your sauce.

    >> and you brown these. softer than regular meatballs.

    >> that's what's so nice about them, they're spongy.

    >> this is the sauce.

    >> they go here and cook in the to mato sauce a few minutes.

    >> you want to pop them in?

    >> okay. wonderful.

    >> you can use any jar of tomato sauce or make it yourself.

    >> you can use any jar of tomato sauce .

    >> the beauty is people can come over to ireland and learn this.

    >> and made with spaghetti. you have to use this with ro cotto silloto.

    >> can you find it?

    >> yes.

    >> you can use an italian greek combination, right?

    >> you made this beautiful irish str stromboli?

    >> i did. it is off the coast of italy, beautiful bread that explodes in color and flavor. what i did was, i got the irish soda bred recipe and get your tomato sauce , like so, put it on like so.

    >> since we're running out of time , throw all the olives in there and everything. layer it on.

    >> whatever you want , like smoked irish bacon , gorgeous and so on. you roll it up.

    >> bake it in the oven.

    >> comes out looking wonderful like that. what a great thing for holidays. kathryn portfolerine kathryn fofl -- folvio. .. ..

TODAY recipes
updated 12/2/2010 9:14:29 AM ET 2010-12-02T14:14:29

Recipe: Spaghetti con polpette di melanzane

  • 2 large aubergines, roasted
  • Olive oil, extra-virgin
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 7.5 ounces breadcrumbs (may need more, depending on size of aubergines)
  • 4.5 ounces grated pecorino
  • 4 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 20 fluid ounces homemade tomato sauce
  • 10 to 13 ounces spaghetti
  • Ricotta salata, grated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Halve the aubergines, rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place on a tray and roast. This should take about 30 minutes.

When cooked, allow to cool slightly and scoop out the flesh and place in a sieve to squeeze out the excess liquid.

Mash the garlic with the aubergine.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the grated pecorino, mint, oregano, eggs and nutmeg.

Add the aubergine flesh.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mould the mixture into balls about the size of golf balls.

Fry one small ball first to test for the correct seasoning.

Heat a frying pan with oil, fry off until golden, turning from time to time and taking care not to crowd the pan; you will need to do them in two batches.

Place on a kitchen towel.

Pour off the oil, lower the heat and add the tomato sauce.

Simmer gently in the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes or place in the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions and serve with the polpetti and tomato sauce.

Serving Size

Serves four

Recipe: Lugnaquilla

  • 1 pound plain white flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 level teaspoon bread soda or baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or parsley and chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 12.5 to 15 fluid ounces sour milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 5 ounces mozzarella, grated (or John Hempenstall)
  • 3.5 ounces pancetta, roughly chopped and pan fried (or Jack McCarthy
  • 3 tablespoons black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Thyme sprigs
  • 5 fluid ounces homemade tomato basil sauce (should be dense)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sieve all the dry ingredients. Mix in the fresh chopped thyme and sundried tomatoes. Making a well in the centre, pour in most of the sour milk and mix to a soft dough. If more milk is needed, add now. When mixed, turn out on to a floured surface. Flatten slightly.

Using your rolling pin, roll out in a rectangular shape to about 1/2 inch in height.

Spread the tomato sauce over the top, sprinkle the pancetta (or Jack's bacon), a little thyme and mozzarella (or John's Wicklow Blue) over and roll the dough up into a long loaf. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the sea salt over. Pierce the roll with a large fork and tuck the remaining thyme sprigs into the surface of the dough.

Place on a floured baking tray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes approximately. They bread should be firm to touch and golden brown in colour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

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