Spaghetti and Meatballs

17 Sep 2014

I've been to Italy once. Actually, I've been to Rome once. A lot of people seem to think that Rome isn't really Italy, and that the two are completely different. I'm sure it's true, but I've only been to one so I can't really compare. Italy for me was a bit of a blur and quite overwhelming. It was 2010 when I went there to visit with my brother, mum and auntie. We did the usually tourist things - Colosseum, Vatican, Catacombs, Trevi Fountain. As a New Zealander our country is fairly 'new', so visiting Rome was like travelling back in time. It was a bizarre yet very educating experience. Sadly, I don't have many memories of the food in Italy. I can't figure out whether this is due to the food not being great enough to be memorable, or my 18 year old jaded memory.

This makes me sad because pasta is one of my all time favourite dishes. Asked what my favourite food is - pasta. I don't even have to think twice about it. I wish I could travel back to Italy now with my love of pasta and enjoy all the amazing cuisine Italy has to offer. This Spaghetti and Meatball dish has a very flavoursome tomato sauce. Adding cherry tomatoes and fresh basil makes this sauce top notch and much more guilt-free than the pasta cans you find at the supermarket (which are drowning with salt). I am yet to befriend someone Italian and get them to judge this sauce. Instead, you will have to be my judge for now!

Happy cooking :)

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Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients

1kg beef mince
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Handful of shaved parmesan
2 cups of breadcrumbs
2 eggs
a few splashes of worchestire sauce
800g of passatta
Red wine
500g of spaghetti
Fresh basil, chopped
2 tomatoes
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 packets of cherry tomatoes
Rock salt
Olive oil

Method

Heat up olive oil in a pan and until sizzling. Add the diced onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add the diced tomatoes and stir until the juice of the tomatoes thicken. Set aside to cool.

To make the meatball mixture add breadcrumbs, eggs, beef, parmesan, worchestire sauce, basil and onion and tomato mixture all together in a bowl. Use your hands to knead all of the ingredients together. You want a mixture that is dry and will retain shape once shaped.

To make meatballs spoon mixture into your hand and roll into a ball shape. I like to keep mine medium sized.

Bring water to the boil and cook spaghetti until el dente.

Toss the meatballs on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until they cooked through. I turn mine over by shaking the pan as it keeps them loose of each other and avoids them being squashed or broken.

Transfer meatballs to a bowl but keep the meat juices in the pan - this is what is going to give your sauce a delicious, meaty flavour.

To make the sauce pour the passatta into the hot pan and add a couple glugs of red wine. Stir to combine. Add the cherry tomatoes, basil and meat balls. Stir to combine.

Drain spaghetti and toss some olive oil through it to keep it loose.

Garnish with a basil leaf.

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