spanish sun-dried tomato pasta with spicy ricotta chorizo meatballs: the spanish soccer team's (probable) sustenance for their day of triumph.

I've resolved to attend as many events as I can in Vancouver this summer. The city has so much to offer - a Jamaican festival, a choir walk in the middle of the woods (sounds ethereal!), and a neanderthal festival. How could I ever be bored? (especially with the last one)
Although Commercial Drive is a lovely place (it even has random swings attached to old, leafy branches along its streets) I felt slightly blasphemous on Sunday, not attending church so that I could partake of festivities that I really have no inclination for (soccer has never been at the top of my sporting list - then again, I don't really have a list . . .). But it is the people, the emotion, their interaction and camradery that comes from all being so moved by one single event that deterred me from my spiritual community that morning. But then again, I think God is found in the most simple of pleasures or encounters.
Although I didn't attend church (though Jeff let me know it was an awkward contemporary/traditional combination service . . . a bit odd), but did attend something akin to religion in Europe - soccer. It was not just a plain event in Vancouver however, it was an epic (on scale, not the game itself, in fact, it was a bit disappointing) soccer game that reverberated in every pub around the world. I cannot imagine being in Spain at the very moment when Andres Iniesta snuck the ball past the Dutch goalie. I bet the cries of joy were heard across the Mediterranean sea in Morocco at least.
To celebrate the soccer win, we teamed up with some friends from Powell River and brought a football (the American kind) to the beach.

It was a jam-packed day. Made all the more memorial, and lucky, a bird decided to poop on my head, yet again. Three in my lifetime - I must just be a walking good-luck charm by now. The first reference to this providential omen is a little over a hundred years old, but I'm pretty sure that even in a more superstitious era than our own, those pooped on were not really thrilled.
After a long day on hot sand, the solution to re-hydration appeared to (logically) be margarita form - the best of which in the city (supposedly - I don't really know, I don't really care for them) is found at Las Margaritas down on W. 4th Ave.
However, I've wrote too many Mexican recipes on this blog. Instead, to commemorate one of the biggest events in the sporting world, I thought that a Spanish dish was in order (this is an old stand-by recipe of mine and I thought it was apt to share it now). Many athletes have pasta before they partake of their games - it is the perfect carbohydrate with a little protein added by the meat. I'm willing to bet my dutch oven that Spain won because they ate pasta beforehand.
Spanish Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Spicy Ricotta Chorizo Meatballs

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 chorizo sausage, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. fresh Italian parsley chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 c. parmesean cheese
1 c. ricotta cheese
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

1 tbs. olive oil

3 c. rotini (I'm just making a generalization, depends what your sauce to pasta ratio is!)

1 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can plum tomatoes, diced
handful of spinach
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. dried thyme
one chicken boullion cube

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix the first twelve ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) in a large bowl until well blended. Add breadcrumbs until it becomes stiffer, but be careful not to overdo it.

2. Make round balls about 1" in diameter from the mix. Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a frying pan, and brown the meatballs all over until cooked (you might have to cover and place on med-low for a few minutes), about five/six minutes.

3. Put pasta on to cook - cook until al dente. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a frying pan, and brown onion and garlic until brown.Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce (except the spinach). Let simmer until the flavors meld together - about 20 mins.

4. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Throw in the meatballs and spinach (not literally, more, just place), toss gently until spinach has wilted.

5. Pray. Eat. Enjoy. In celebration, share some with a few Spaniards.