CASUAL COOK | Kerry Romeike's family feasts are what she looks forward to every week

FRESH FEAST: Cheese, tomato, basil - Kerry Romeike's meatball recipe has everything a good winter warmer needs to satisfy on cold winter nights. Picture: CHRIS YOUNG

FRESH FEAST: Cheese, tomato, basil - Kerry Romeike's meatball recipe has everything a good winter warmer needs to satisfy on cold winter nights. Picture: CHRIS YOUNG

Kerry Romeike’s oven baked meatballs in cheesy tomato sauce

MONDAY to Friday, Kerry Romeike can be found at the Border Danceworks studio, often late into the night.

Be it running the desk or preparing costumes, Mrs Romeike pretty much does it all.

Because of the long hours, meals tend to be on the lighter side during the week.

It’s worth it though – the weekend is her time to shine.

Mrs Romeike always opens her door to friends and family every weekend for a hearty meal and company.

“I’m up here every night, so we just have light meals through the week,” she said.

“But my passion waiting for the weekend to come and think what I’m going to cook up.

“I invite all the family around, to me, that;s what food is all about.

“That’s what I love about it, it’s sort of an open invitation every weekend, it’s an open invitation and everyone who is around town almost always comes along.” 

After spending her days teaching children to dance and entertain (with her daughter Kylie, who owns the studio), the weekly dinners are her chance to do a bit of entertaining of her own.

“Family is the most important thing,” she said.

“You can all sit with a beautiful meal, a glass of win and talk about your week.” 

The meatball recipe immediately jumps out as a warm, hearty feast, but it’s a surprisingly simple dish to put together.

Using fresh herbs is the key – basil in particular.

It was this simplicity that first drew Mrs Romeike to it, but she has since put her own spin on it.

“It;s a really easy one, but it’s really really yummy,” she said.

“Soaking up those juices and sauces with beautiful, crusty bread is just gorgeous.

“It’s got beautiful fresh herbs in it, but it’s really simple to put together.

“It’s perfect for a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon.

“I found recipe in a magazine quite a few years ago, and I’ve just tweaked it a little bit.

“Originally it had a plain tomato sauce in it, I’ve gone with a more spicy option.

“Everyone really enjoys that nice tang of spiciness, particularly through winter, it can warm you up a bit.

“I’ve added a bit more cheese, you can’t go wrong with that.

“I tinker with a lot of my recipes.

“I don’t usually change a lot about them, but I often add in a little something or take something out.

“It’s just to add a little bot of taste to it, but generally I’ll follow most of the recipe.” 

Pair this meal with a glass of nice red wine and even better company, and you’re sure to have a good time.

INGREDIENTS

600g pork & veal mince

180g tub bocconcini, drained

½ cup breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup grated parmesean

1tbsp chopped oregano

2tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus extra to serve

1tbsp olive oil

500g jar arrabiata sauce

METHOD

Preheat oven 222 degrees (200 fan-forced)

Place mince, breadcrumbs, egg, Parmesan, oregano and basil in a bowl.

Mix well and shape into balls. 

Heat oil in prying pan and brown meatballs.

Transfer meatballs into a deep dish. 

Bring the pasta sauce to the boil in the frying pan before pouring over the meatballs.

Scatter cheese around the dish and bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballas are cooked through.

Serve with crusty bread and a nice glass of red wine.

Recipe serves four.

20 minutes preparation, 25 minutes cooking time.