Monday, 28 April 2014

Meatballs & Pasta


  • This week the rain has returned and I'm feeling in need of comfort food and my snuggly sweater

  • And the best comfort foods are those that throw you back to your childhood and Mum's Cooking
  • What's not to love with spaghetti and meatballs on the same plate!

  • This is Very 1970's -  I should be sat in front of the telly watching re runs of Starsky & Hutch

  • I have adjusted the original recipe of my mum's with the introduction of the pimento & chocolate
  •  which added depth to the taste  - also I'm not sure she had even heard about basil back in the 1970's

  • The Meatballs

  • 500g  minced beef 
  • 1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 50g  white breadcrumbs (or rolled oat which work really well)
  • 1 tsp smoky pimento
  • 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder or grated dark chocolate 
  • 25g  Cheddar, grated 
  • 2tbsp chopped basil or flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to finish 
  • Sea salt and black pepper 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 2tbsp olive oil

  • The Tomato Sauce

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  •  1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped 
  • Good handful of chopped basil
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes 
  •  water 
  • 1-2tsp caster sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

  • To make the meatballs, mix the mince, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs (or oats) cheese, spices, cocoa and chopped parsley/bails together in a bowl until combined.
     Season well and add the beaten egg to bind and  mix in with your hands. 

    With damp hands, shape the mixture into about 16 meatballs, trying not to press them too tightly, flour and
     place on a large plate, cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.

    To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently .
    Increase the heat slightly and stir in the tomatoes, water and sugar. 
    Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
    Then remove the pan from the heat and set aside

    To cook the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a large, wide pan.
     Add the chilled meatballs and fry for 5 minutes, don't over load the pan - I cooked ours in 2 batches,
     turning frequently until browned all over. 

    Then place in a preheat oven (180C/160C Fan/Gas4) whilst cooking the pasta & reheat the sauce

    Divide the meatballs and tomato sauce between warm bowls of buttered pasta 
    and sprinkle with chopped herbs & some Grated Cheese to serve.

    turn on the telly, put on your most snuggly sweater & enjoy......

    Printable Recipe

     meatball pasta