Sunday, 25 January 2009

Spaghetti and meatballs

I made this tonight. It is a really simple dish to make and tastes delicious. The amount of chilli I used was a bit hot for my wife, but was spot on for me.

Ingredients (for 2 servings, in theory can be easily doubled):
- Spaghetti for 2 - home made pasta will be a lot better - but I didn't have time to make it.
- 1 tin of whole, peeled tomatoes.
- 1 handful of parsley and thyme, chopped.
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
- 1 red onion, finely chopped.
- 1 tsp light soya sauce (green kikoman...).
- 6 pork sausages (the better quality the better the dish).
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped and de-seeded.
- salt and black pepper to season.
- Parmesan to sprinkle.

Guidelines:
  1. Chop the garlic, onion and herbs.
  2. Squeeze out the sausage meat from the sausages. You need to squeeze the meat out of the casing into "balls". You should get 3 balls per sausage. Don't worry too much about getting the sizes all the same or getting the shapes uniform.
  3. Start the pot of water that you will cook the pasta in, remember the salt(at least two teaspoons per litre of water).
  4. Place the sausage "balls" into a frying pan and fry until golden on one side, then turn over and fry till golden. Use a medium hot heat, should take about 4 minutes on the first side and 2 the next. I put the frying pan lid on. You will get a lot of fat from the sausages, I poured the fat out just before the turning the balls for the first time.
  5. Take the meat balls out and keep warm.
  6. Fry garlic and onion in left over fat. Add some black pepper - a few twists of the grinder.
  7. When the garlic is aromatic, add the tomatoes.
  8. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, put the lid on and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the soy sauce, simmer for another 5 minutes.
  10. Add the herbs, chilli and put the spaghetti into the boiling water to start cooking.
  11. Add the meat balls to the sauce. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. By now the sauce should be relatively thick. Taste and season accordingly.
  12. Soon as the spaghetti is done, take the sauce off the heat. Drain the pasta, get in trouble with the wife by testing if it is done by throwing a small piece onto the ceiling (if it sticks its done, actually an old wives tale - pasta is done when you just feel a slight resistance when you bite into it - al dente. And don't worry, the spaghetti strand will fall off eventually.
  13. Dish up, sprinkle the Parmesan and enjoy.
Comments invited...

Monday, 19 January 2009

Banking Commission's redaction failure.

A long time ago in a land a long way away I wrote a paper for ISSA that is titled "An Investigation into Unintentional Information Leakage through Electronic Publication". Please forgive the youthfulness of the writing, but I think that it is still relavant and should make an interesting read, specially the section on PDF's.

The Banking commission made the one fatal mistake that you can make when trying to redact documents - they left the confidential material in the document - perhaps hidden, but still there. Same applies for office documents (all types, not only Microsoft), emails, anything electronic can reveal a lot if not cleaned and sanitised.

I expect that things like this will always crop up every now and again...

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Gymnopilus junonius


Caught this hallucinogenic "Laughing Jim" growing in the parents-in laws garden. For more info: Click here.

Gnocchi needs to made with heart

The wife and I went to Fratelli's in Blairgowrie on Thursday night for a bite to eat. I had the Pesto gnocchi and was not impressed. It was tough and fried (why, I have no idea - I didn't order potato fritters). The pesto wasn't bad though. Next time I'll have a Pesto Penne, or stick to the Pizza.

Gnocchi has to be made with heart, you need to take your time, feel the dough, shape each piece and cook it gently in boiling water and then dip in the sauce and then serve. As soon as you don't put some TLC into it, it'll go tough and very stodgy.

Places to have gnocchi in JHB are my house and Primi on Rivonia Boulevard.

Update: Col’Cacchio at Benmore is another place to have gnocchi.