Emmental is one of those versatile cheeses that can be eaten by itself or melted into a dish. It is produced in several countries in Europe however the biggest producer is France. Our Emmental is made in Alsace, it is dense in texture and has lots of flavour. I find when talking to Mum’s in my shop that one of their challenges is to make a family supper dish that children and adults can equally enjoy. In this week’s recipe I have taken a simple dish, which could be described as meat balls in a tomato sauce with pasta and made it more exciting by enclosing a chunk of Emmental inside the meat balls and rolling the balls in Herbes de Provence. The Herbes make a flavoursome crust and the cheese melts and oozes out of the meat when cut open. The homemade tomato sauce is really easy and tastes so much better than the ones in the shops. I used penne pasta however you can use any of the harder pasta types such as rigatone. I recommend pairing this dish with the St Cosme Cotes du Rhone, a spicy shiraz.
Ingredients for 4 guests:
- 300g Minced pork meat
- 2 Tablespoons Herbes de Provence
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 150g Emmental from the French Market shop in Cape Town
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 small onion peeled and chopped
- 2 carrotts peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Half a cup of red wine red cooking wine
- 300ml of Tomato puree (Passata)
4 handfuls (1 per person or more for larger appetities) of dried pasta penne or rigatone
A bottle of St Cosme Cotes du Rhone Rouge from the French Market in Cape Town
- Preheat oven to 230degrees
- Separate the mince into 8 portions, and flatten with the palm of your hand.
- Grind black pepper over them and sprinkle lightly with salt
- Cut the Emmental into 8 chunks
- Place a chunk of Emmental in the centre of the patty
- Using your hands to roll up the mince meat around the cheese until it is totally covered
- Sprinkle the Herbes de Provence on a flat surface and roll the meat balls in the herbs
- Place the meat balls on a greased baking pan and bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden, turn over once during cooking
Make the sauce to accompany the rissoles :
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy based pan, over medium heat, fry onions, garlic and carrots until onions soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add red wine and cook until liquid reduces by half, about 10 minutes
- Add tomato paste and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes
Cook pasta as per directions
Add pasta to the sauce just before serving. Plate the pasta and sauce first then top with the rissoles.
Serve with a glass of spicy Cotes du Rhone shiraz from Chateau St Cosme.