Friday, July 15, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I have had a few requests for my spaghetti and meatballs recipe that I mentioned on my other blog. I have been making this recipe for years, it is a combination of a couple of recipes. I tend to do that: take the best bits from a recipe and play around with it to suit my taste. Doesn't everyone do that? Isn't that what cooking is all about?

We all really like it in this house. My children (well, my daughter, who begs to help) absolutely loves rolling the meatballs, either with me or for me. Hopefully this recipe would make all of the Nonna's out there proud.

For Astrid, who asked about how I got my meatballs to stop from falling apart. I am definitely no expert, but think that it has to do with these three things:

• The addition of an egg to the meatball or rissole mixture.
• The time that the rolled mixture spends in the refrigerator before cooking.
• And, that I cook my meatballs on a tray in the oven, before adding them to my sauce.

I pre-cook the meatballs this way for a few reasons. Firstly laziness: I don't have to stand and watch the meatballs in the pan, turning them and getting splattered in oil. The kitchen bench and the floor does not get splattered with oil and I have no cleaning to do. It also reduces the amount of oil that I use - I don't use any, I just lay the meatballs on greaseproof baking paper and put them in the oven.

And yes, before I started cooking my meatballs this way, I too, had my meatballs falling apart in the sauce.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

serves 4-6

for the meatballs

• 500 grams beef, pork or veal mince (or a mixture of each)
• 1 small onion (finely diced)

• 1 clove garlic (crushed)

• 1 slice thick white bread (crusts removed – soaked in 1/4 cup milk)

• 1 egg (lightly beaten)
• 1 teas. thyme leaves (finely chopped)

• 2 tables. parsley leaves (finely chopped)

• 2 tables. parmesan cheese (grated)

• salt/pepper

for the sauce

• 1 tables. olive oil
• 1 onion (finely diced)
• 1 clove garlic (crushed)

• 2 x 400gram tinned tomatoes (chopped)

• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1/2 cup basil leaves (roughly chopped)

• salt/pepper

to serve

• 500 grams spaghetti (cooked)
• a handful of basil leaves (torn)

• freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 220 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients together and roll into walnut size balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. In the mean time, heat the olive oil for the sauce and gently sauté the onions and garlic. When the onion is soft add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. To cook the meatballs toss in a little olive oil and spread out onto a baking tray. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce and continue to cook in the sauce for 20 minutes. Toss the meatballs with the cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with the basil leaves and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Yum, I've tried these, they are great. A big hit with the kids too...


Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear what's happening in your kitchen. If you've tried one of my recipes, I'd like to know what you thought? Do you have some advice to make it better? Did you find a mistake? Perhaps it is a new favourite in your home?

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