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Proper pukka spaghetti and meatballs

February 9, 2011

Spaghetti and homemade meatballs

The what

  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 10 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 500g good quality minced beef (or pork or a mixture of both)
  • 1 heaped tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 large egg
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • A bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 400g dried spaghetti or pasta of your choice

How to… make your meatballs

  1. Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and finely chop them.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs to a bowl with the mustard, minced beef, chopped rosemary and oregano.
  3. Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. With clean hands scrunch and mix up well.
  4. Divide into 4 large balls. With wet hands, divide each ball into 6 and roll into little meatballs – you should end up with 24 meatballs.
  5. Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and jiggle them about so they all get coated. Put them on a plate, cover and place in the fridge until needed.

How to… cook your pasta, meatballs and sauce

  1. Pick the basil leaves, keeping any smaller ones to one side for later.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic.
  3. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil.
  4. Next, heat a large frying pan on medium heat and add 2 lugs of olive oil. Add your onion to the frying pan and stir for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden.
  5. Then add your garlic and chilli flakes, and as soon as they start to get some colour add the large basil leaves.
  6. Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and season to taste.
  7. Meanwhile, heat another large frying pan and add a lug of olive oil and your meatballs. Stir them around and cook for 8 – 10 minutes until golden (check they’re cooked by opening one up – there should be no sign of pink).
  8. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer until the pasta is ready, then remove from the heat.
  9. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions.

How to… serve up and devour!

  1. Saving some of the cooking water, drain the spaghetti in a colander. Return the spaghetti to the pan.
  2. Spoon half of the tomato sauce into the pasta, adding a little splash of your reserved water to loosen.
  3. Serve on a large platter, or in separate bowls, with the rest of the sauce and meatballs on top. Garnish with the small basil leaves and serve up!

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food cookbook.

Yields 4 large servings

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