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Polpette al Sugo (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)

  Polpette al sugo is a favourite from way back, a frugal way of feeding the family.  They were always prepared and cooked in sugo (tomato sauce) for Sunday family meals.  During winter, a few freshly homemade sausages would also be added to the sauce for that extra flavour.  The sauce would be served on home made ferretti or tagliatelle , as 'il primo piatto' (first course), and le polpette eaten for secondo with a green salad on the side.  We always made sure that a few would be left for the following days school lunches. Everyone has a favourite meatball recipe, whether handed down from their nonna or mamma ; or discovered in someone's cookbook that they continue to make and swear by.  Mamma likes to add cooked potato to the mix, rendering them moist.  Some like to add ricotta, while I have added grated carrot to these and have done so since my girls were little.  It was a sneaky way of hiding a vegetable they weren't very keen on. Most would agree that they m

Lemon, Orange & Coconut Upside-down Cake

Lemon, orange and coconut upside-down cake, because we need cake, right?!

Adding a little sunshine to the last month of what seems to be a never ending long winter and another lockdown.  There is so much uncertainty and no clear vision of what is ahead, except the seasons that bring joy through their gifts. The citrus are in abundance both in my parents garden and mine, proving a sweet haven and joy.

A few weeks ago I baked this cake with my Meyer lemons and posted it in my IG stories.  A few requests came in to share the recipe, so here it is.  This time though, I used both the oranges and lemons.  The combination of the two fruits along with the coconut is a real joy, and one I will bake more often.  It's cakes like these that give those comforting hugs that we all need right now. 

Before I share this recipe, I would like to use this space to announce an upcoming exhibition titled Take From The Garden, a body of still life oil paintings by a young artist who is forever inspired by her nonni and their garden, and pays a beautiful homage to their generosity.  It goes without saying that we are super excited and proud of her.  Finger crossed that this is a short lockdown and the opening of this exhibition can go ahead as scheduled.  My parents garden continues to inspire and give joy; I hope this cake will too. May this be a celebration of winter and hope.

Lemon, Orange & Coconut Upside-down Cake

4 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar, plus extra for base
1/3 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon & 1 orange
Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 2/3 cup self-raising flour, sifted
2 oranges, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup desiccated coconut, plus extra for decorating

Preheat oven to 180 C and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper (base & sides).  Generously scatter caster sugar in base of lined tin and arrange slices of oranges.  

In a large bowl whip eggs and sugar until fluffy.  Mix in zest of lemon and orange, yogurt, olive oil and juice of half a lemon.  Slowly incorporate the flour and coconut, taking care not to overmix.

Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cook completely.  Remove the baking paper to reveal those slices of jammy oranges and sprinkle with more coconut.



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