Recipe of the Day – Quick sausage meatballs with a tomato & basil sauce

Quick sausage meatballs with a tomato & basil sauce, spaghetti & sweet raw peas
A simple pasta dish with bags of flavor

Using really good sausage and adding the peas at the last minute totally make these meatballs

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This is a fantastic recipe that completely celebrates everything I love about peas. Even though they only make an appearance right at the end, it’s a star performance. I like to serve a pile of unpodded peas in the middle of the table so that everyone gets to pod some over their own plate. It’s also an incredibly fast recipe – you can be sitting down to eat within a minute of the pasta being done. The key to getting it right, though, is to buy really good-quality sausage.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)

Calories
816kcal Carbs
73.5g Sugar
8.7g Fat
43.5g Saturates
14.4g Protein
29.1g

Serves 4-6 Approx time: 30 Difficulty: super easy

Ingredients
olive oil
8 good-quality pork sausages
500 g spaghetti
sea salt
300 g fresh peas, in their pods
1 block Parmesan cheese, to serve
a few sprigs fresh marjoram, thyme or rosemary, leaves picked

For The Tomato Sauce
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
2 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
good-quality balsamic vinegar

Method
Heat a large saucepan and add a few lugs of olive oil. Snip the sausages apart, then squeeze and pinch the meat out of the skins so that you get little meatball shapes – don’t make them too big or they will take too long to cook. Try to get at least three balls out of each sausage. Don’t worry about rolling them into perfect balls and making them look all fancy – rough and rustic is good! Put them into your pan. Keep frying and turning the meatballs until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

Meanwhile, put the spaghetti into a large pan of salted boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente.

To make your tomato sauce, heat a separate pan and pour in some olive oil. Add the garlic and the chopped basil stalks and move them around the pan for a couple of minutes. Put some small basil leaves to one side for later, and sprinkle the rest into the pan. Add the tomatoes and season carefully to taste. Bring to a simmer, break up your tomatoes a bit more with a spoon and add a swig of balsamic vinegar – it’s lovely for adding sweetness to the sauce.

Add the herbs to the pan of sausage meatballs, tossing everything in all the lovely flavours. Cook for around 30 seconds. When your spaghetti is cooked, drain it and divide the pasta and meatballs between four bowls. Spoon over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle over the reserved basil leaves and serve with a handful of fresh peas per person in the middle of the table, so that everyone can have a go at podding their own, and a little Parmesan for grating and shaving over the top.


Recipe of the Day – Crispy-skinned mackerel

Crispy-skinned mackerel with Asian-inspired dressing
With fluffy basmati rice and herby chilli sprinkles

Mackerel is incredibly versatile and extremely good for you
I love it in this sweet, spicy sauce

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Mackerel is part of the same family as tuna. We’ve come to depend so heavily on tuna that it’s now under a huge amount of pressure – this really is the time to turn to mackerel as an alternative. It’s widely available in our waters and way down the food chain so we need to be buying and selling more of it, and learning how to cook and enjoy it. I like to treat mackerel more like a steak, and give it flavour and attitude to make it sing. It is so delicious, incredibly versatile and extremely good for you.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
Calories
758kcal Carbs
74.5g Sugar
5.5g Fat
34.2g Saturates
6.3g Protein
36.4g

Serves 4 Approx time: 25 Difficulty: not too tricky

Ingredients
1 mug basmati rice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 x 170 g mackerel, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, skin on, butterflied and pin-boned
1 lemon
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced
2 sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped
2 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced, optional

For The Sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 cm piece fresh ginger
1 spring onion, trimmed
1 fresh red chilli
2 limes
2 sprigs of coriander, leaves picked
4 tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons runny honey
extra virgin olive oil

Method

Put a griddle pan on a high heat to get really hot. Add the rice to a pan with 2 mugs of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil on a high heat then turn the heat down to low, cover and leave for 7 to 8 minutes.

Once the griddle is screaming hot, add the mackerel skin-side down (you may need to do this in batches). Use a fish slice to press the fish onto the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and finely grate over the zest of a lemon. Reduce to a medium-high heat and cook for about 8 minutes in total.

Meanwhile, make your sauce. Use a fine grater to carefully grate the garlic, ginger, spring onion and chilli into a small bowl. Grate in the lime zest and mix, you should have a lovely slurry. Tear in the coriander leaves, add the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and squeeze in the juice of the limes. Finish with a good lug of extra virgin olive oil then have a taste – you want to have a balance between sweet, sour, heat and fragrance.

Check the mackerel, they should be lovely and dark on the skin side so carefully flip them over to finish cooking for a final few seconds. Check your rice; all of the water should have been absorbed. Divide the rice between your plates, top each portion with a piece of mackerel then drizzle over some of that gorgeous sauce. Scatter over the spring onion, mint, coriander and chilli, if using.


Recipe of the Day – Hungover noodles

Crunchy veg, egg noodles & a runny egg

This super-tasty, quick noodle recipe is perfect
when you’re feeling a little down in the dumps

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Nutritional Information (amount per serving)

Calories
537kcal Carbs
48.3g Sugar
7g Fat
25.1g Saturates
5.2g Protein
25.1g

Serves 4 Approx time: 20 Difficulty: super easy

Ingredients

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 Chinese cabbage
500 g fresh or frozen broccoli
250 g medium egg noodles
200 g mangetout
4 large eggs
olive oil
hot chilli sauce, to serve

Method
This super-fast, super-tasty meal is perfect when you’re feeling a little down or, let’s be honest, a bit hungover, as it’s full of the good stuff. Flavoring the noodles with a dressing is genius, and a runny fried egg on top is a bit of an added bonus. Drizzle with lots of chilli sauce to ensure it gives you a slap around the face, and tuck in.

Peel the ginger and garlic and finely grate into a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and a pinch of pepper, then mix to make a dressing. Trim and shred the cabbage and put it into a large pan of boiling salted water with the broccoli (cut into florets first, if using fresh) and noodles to cook for around 3 minutes, then add the mangetout for a final minute. Drain it all well, then toss in the bowl of dressing.

Meanwhile, fry the eggs in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with a lug of olive oil until cooked to your liking (I like mine with a runny yolk). Divide the noodles between bowls, pop an egg on top of each one, and serve drizzled with chilli sauce for that all-important added kick.

Jamie’s top tip: Using buckwheat noodles in this dish like you see in the picture is really nice – they’re a little bit more expensive but have a great flavor and texture. Just make sure you check the packet instructions in case they take longer to cook. Feel free to also ring the changes by adding any other fresh seasonal veg, or leftovers you have in the fridge.