Happiness is a bag of flour, etc.

It's not a flower; it's flour!

"I got your flower in my car"! That's what Marilyn told me after saying "hello" as she walk past my office this morning. I was momentarily confused. Why would she give me a flower? A single rose maybe? So I asked her, "what flower"? And she laughed and said f l o u r - your flour from the Italian market! Whoa! I was like really? I forgot that we browsed the web site of an Italian market close to her house before the long weekend to look for that particular flour. And we did find out they have what I need. So she handed me her green grocery bag and inside- 5bags of my double zero flour so I can finally use my pasta machine.

I am super excited! So that's happiness #1. Of course it's a given that I should make something for her with fresh pasta before she leaves.

Just a little piece of information- double zero flour is the best flour to use when making fresh pasta. I did my little investigation on the net and regular flour can also be used but I want to use the best and then make my comparison later; find out the difference in taste and texture especially since I am making it myself.

I took most of the corn pudding I made to work and they loved it. Maybe I was just a little hard on myself -- but I know when something's amiss or if I faltered somewhere.

But then, the way it was not enough for everyone and disappeared fast translates to happiness #2 :-)

I could have started using my flour tonight for my version of Extra Virgin's Spaghetti and Meatballs but I don't have time so I opted for the old reliable spaghetti from Trader Joe's. My meatballs are a mixture of ground beef and spicy Italian sausage. I kinda deviated and stuffed the huge meatballs with mozzarella pieces. I don't really have Extra Virgin's recipe so I just made it my way.

Baked Stuffed Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

2 lb ground beef
1 package spicy and sweet sausage
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 extra large egg
2 tsp dried basil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup milk
4 thick slices firm white bread, crust removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
Canola oil

Heat three rounds of canola oil in over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook until the vegetables are soft but still translucent, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let cool.
Pour enough milk over the bread in a bowl to moisten and let it soak while the onions are cooling.
Combine the meats in a large bowl. Add the egg and grated Parmesan
Use your hands to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread and add that to the bowl along with the cooled onion mixture.
Remove sausage from the casings and break with a wooden spoon or with your clean hands
Gently combine all the ingredients until just mixed together.
Don't overwork or the meatballs will be tough.
Divide into 10 equal pieces and press a chunk of mozzarella into the center before shaping each piece into a ball.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat another 3 rounds of oil in the frying pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes. Put them into a baking dish and spoon about half of the tomato sauce over. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and drizzle with olive oil. Put the meatballs in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

For the Marinara sauce

4 cups Marinara sauce
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sugar
Parsley flakes
1 tsp salt
Heat oil in a pan (just enough to wet the bottom)
Saute onion until translucent
Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant
Add marinara sauce and salt
Allow to simmer then add the sugar
Simmer for another 5 minutes then add the parsley flakes

Hopefully I could watch a replay of that segment from The Best Thing I Ever Ate so my mind could be refreshed.

But overall, it was tasty and delicious. Happiness #3

Happiness seems to be associated with food today. Is it lame?
It's a happy day, period!


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