Tag Archives: mozzarella

Meatballs with Mozzarella

Regular readers may remember that I hosted a ketogenic guest post from Sarah Peterson last year. I didn’t really know much myself about this style of eating previously, so did some reading up around the topic. Basically in a nutshell, it seems to be following a low carbohydrate, high fat, adequate protein diet. This inspired me to come up with the following recipe for Meatballs with Mozzarella, although I may have overdone the protein element, so not strictly keto. The recipe was mainly targeted at my other half who has been trying to avoid eating pasta. And since I regularly cook either Spaghetti and Meatballs or Spaghetti Bolognaise because the boys both love these, the no pasta request can prove quite tricky.

Meatballs with Mozzarella

Meatballs with Mozzarella

Ingredients (serves 4)

800g pork mince
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 egg
50g breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic
500g passata
1 400g tin of plum tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
150g mozzarella


Preheat fan oven to 180 degree C.
Beat the egg in a large bowl.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add mince, breadcrumbs and half of the oregano.
Stir together.
Form into 12 large meatballs.
Squeeze garlic through garlic press.
Cut the mozzarella into 12 slices.
Gently heat oil in wok.
Brown the meatballs in batches in the wok, removing them to a plate.
Add garlic to wok.
After 1 minute, add passata and plum tomatoes to the wok.
Roughly chop the plum tomatoes in the wok.
Add balsamic vinegar and rest of the oregano.
Season with salt and pepper.
Return the meatballs to the wok.
Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens.
Spoon into a baking dish.
Top each meatball with a slice of mozzarella.
Bake on middle shelf of preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

Meatballs with Mozzarella

So verdict on these. They hit the spot for my other half, but the tomato was too dominant really for the boys. Looks like we will need to cook some spaghetti too in order to soak up some of the sauce for the children, in which case I would probably reduce the meat content.

Meatballs with Mozzarella

I’d love to hear your ideas for meals where pasta can be added at the end to some portions only. And how you then bulk out those portions without pasta?

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A trio of Italian starters

To Tuscany Villas have challenged bloggers to come up with a Tuscan-inspired recipe, using typical flavours and influences from Italy. Regular readers of my blog will know that I love a recipe challenge and Facebook memories have just reminded me this week that it is a year since I was at the Dorchester receiving my award for British Turkey 2015 best blogger recipe.

Although I’ve never visited Tuscany yet, I’ve enjoyed plenty of tasty Tuscan food at Italian restaurants. Some of its food and drink are irresistible. Just imagine a delicious Tuscan bean soup, followed by wild boar sausages and then gelato. Of course, served with a bottle of Chianti. Yummy.

However I only got invited to participate in this challenge yesterday, just one day before the closing date, with not a lot of time to come up with my recipe or to source my ingredients. So I’ve passed on pasta, beans, Chianti, olives and ice cream. Instead I’ve opted for a trio of Italian starters using tomatoes, peppers, olive oil, mozzarella, basil and ciabatta.

Italian starters

My first dish is an Italian Tomato and Bread Salad. Although I have blogged my Chinese variant on this previously, I hadn’t shared my Italian version. This recipe is my competition entry, but keep reading for two more recipes to compliment the theme.

Tomato and Bread Salad

Tomato and Bread Salad

Ingredients (serves 4 – 6)

600g mixed tomatoes
200g ciabatta bread, preferably stale
6 tbsp olive oil
5g fresh basil


Cut the ciabatta into pieces and put aside to dry out. If necessary, toast slightly in the oven.
Chop the tomatoes into pieces and put in a large serving bowl.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the bread and mix together.
Stir in the olive oil. Add extra if necessary.
Shred the basil and stir in.
Serve and enjoy.

Tomato and Bread Salad

Secondly, I decided to do a twist on the stuffed olives you see in every supermarket deli. Instead I have made my own stuffed peppers. I grilled the peppers to bring out the best flavour, but alternatively you could make this using raw mini peppers.
Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Ingredients (serves 3 – 4)

250g mini sweet peppers
150g cream cheese


Cut the ends off the peppers and remove the seeds.
Place on grill pan rack and cook under a pre-heated moderate grill for about 5 minutes until starting to soften.
Turn and grill on other side, again for about 5 minutes until starting to soften.
Allow to cool.
Using a teaspoon, fill peppers with cream cheese.
Serve and enjoy.

Cheese Stuffed Peppers

And lastly, although I had half an unused ciabatta loaf left, I thought one bread dish would be sufficient, but if you’re keen to know how to make bruschetta, you may see my recipe here. However you can never have too many tomatoes in Italian cooking, so I made a Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients (serves 2 – 3)

125g mozzarella
100g tomatoes
fresh basil leaves to garnish


Cut the mozzarella into slices.
Slice the tomato.
Arrange mozzarella and tomato on a plate in an alternating pattern.
Garnish with basil leaves.
Serve and enjoy.

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

It was just too Autumnal to eat al fresco today, but I am imagining enjoying these dishes along with a glass of Chianti outside one of the gorgeous villas in Tuscany, a region I would love to visit.

I’d love to hear your favourite Italian recipes.

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Disclosure: This is my entry for the To Tuscany Blogger Recipe Competition and I want to win a week in one of your Tuscany villas! Participants will have a one in ten chance of winning. Other entrants will receive a hamper of Chianti goodies.