Abergavenny Food Festival 2012 : The Food Academy lamb meatballs and pasta recipe

We got back from Abergavenny late on Sunday night and what with loosing my USB camera cable, being 6 months pregnant and recovering from such a wonderful festival, it’s taken a few days to get to this blog post.

We stayed with my lovely friend, Cath Fookes (who is festival co-ordinator) and her family.

I hadn’t been to Wales for years and had forgotten how beautiful the countryside is. This is a view from the Castle Field where we spent most of our weekend.

My daughter’s festival highlight, aside from running around and making new friends, had to be the Food Academy.

The sessions she went to were run by Jethro Carr of Kitchen Academy in Brighton who has an impressive list of clients, from Kids Company, BBC Good Food Show, Soil Association to FareShare, Fair Trade, Womad and Brighton and Hove food and drink festival.

There were more sessions, which we missed, unfortunately, delivered by Alex Mackay, Patron of Kids Cookery School charity (I saw children coming out with delicious looking “Everyway burgers” in baps) and Richard Bertinet of Bertinet Kitchen Bakery in Bath who made  smoked haddock chowder.

There is something that children love about cooking with a chef. I don’t know whether it’s because they associate it with famous TV chefs or because they are so professional (and calm and unflustered) in their whites. But most kids tend to have a bit of reverence for them and listen intently to instructions.

In the Sunday workshop my daughter made …

Lamb meatballs with tomatoes and home made pasta

Once hats were decorated, Jethro gathered mini-chefs at the front and went through the recipe steps, explaining along the way, in particular, safe knife skills: using the claw and bridge. After the briefing a member of Team Food Academy guided the food prep on each table.

Here’s Jethro’s recipe so you can make your own….

This is about enough for 7-10 children’s portions depending on age and appetite. You could either to reduce the amount to suit your needs – or make it in a big batch and freeze what you don’t use.

Once fully briefed, children went back to their tables to grate parmesan …

Pound the garlic…

Then mix all together with torn basil leaves and organic lamb mince…

And roll into small meatballs (followed by a good handwashing)…

Meanwhile on the other (meat-free) side of the table, pasta ingredients were combined…

And kneaded …

While the tomatoes were chopped and deseeded…

Then it was time to roll out the pasta, several times….

Which they loved…

Until it was thin enough to roll into tagliatelle…

While Team Food Academy cooked the meatballs and pasta, kids made their smoothies on the Smoothie Bikes…

Then it was the most important part of the process…

Followed by a delicious smoothie…

All a rather resounding success.

The chefs and all the Abergavenny Food Festival staff worked so hard for two days delivering workshop after workshop, followed by washing up and tidying away ready for the next group of children. Working with children in this way is actually quite tiring so hats off to you all and thank you very much.

Anyone who has cooked with children knows it can have a positive impact on eating habits and openness to trying new foods. Even a one off cooking activity like this can get children trying new foods and instil new food skills.


3 thoughts on “Abergavenny Food Festival 2012 : The Food Academy lamb meatballs and pasta recipe

  1. WhoopAss (@WhoopAss)

    Looks like a blast. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Cath at the Food Academy in 2010 & 2011 and was gutted I wasn’t able to last year. Hope to do so again this year though – it’s so much fun cooking with kids who are interested. Mine aren’t that bothered about cooking. The oldest says he is, but when I point to a raw chicken and a knife he always seems to have something urgent to do elsewhere!

  2. Pingback: Meatballs and pasta | Annie's Dorset Kitchen

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