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Italian Meatballs

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Meatballs ·

  • 1 ½ cup beef mince ·
  • ½ cup pork mince ·
  • 2 slices of bread ·
  • 4 tbsp milk ·
  • 1 egg ·
  • 2 tbsp fresh parley ·
  • ½ onion ·
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated ·
  • 1 tsp garlic powder ·
  • 1 tsp onion powder ·
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper ·
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Sauce ·

  • 2 tbsp olive oil ·
  • 1 large or 2 small onions ·
  • 2 garlic cloves ·
  • 2 cans diced tomato ·
  • ¼ cup water ·
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste ·
  • 1 tsp chicken stock ·
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes ·
  • 3 tsp dried Italian herb mix (parsley, basil, thyme, oregano) ·
  • 1 tsp salt ·
  • Pinch black pepper

Pasta

  • Spaghetti ·
  • Water ·
  • Salt

Garnish ·

  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese ·
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley

Instructions

Meatballs

1. Cut the crusts off the bread slices. Place the bread and milk in a large bowl. Mix to combine so the bread soaks up the milk.

2. Chop onion half into small diced pieces. Add to the bowl with the bread.

3. Measure and add all the remaining meatball ingredients except the olive oil. Use your hands to mix well. Ensure the ingredients are well combined. Remember the more you squeeze and squash the meatball mixture the more tender it will be.

4. Measure out a heaped tablespoon and roll lightly to form a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture.

5. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick fry pan over medium high heat.

6. Add the meatballs and brown all over - about 5 minutes. You can shake the pan gently to roll the meatballs around, rather than using a spoon (they hold their shape better).

7. When they are browned but NOT cooked through, carefully transfer them onto a plate.

Sauce

8. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil into the fry pan.

9. Chop onion and garlic into small diced pieces. Make sure the garlic resembles minced garlic.

10. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.

11. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to medium low so it bubbles gently rather than splattering everywhere. Let it simmer for at least 20 minutes.

12. Carefully transfer the meatballs and any juices that have pooled on the plate into the Sauce.

13. Cook the meatballs for 10 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally.

14. Taste the sauce and adjust the flavour with salt and pepper to taste.

15. While the meatballs are cooking, cook your pasta.

Pasta – 

16. Bring an extra-large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Salt increases the boiling point of the water and enhances the flavour of the pasta.

17. Add the pasta and stir occasionally to stop the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and to each other. Don’t add oil to the water as this will stop the sauce from clinging to the cooked pasta.

18. Cook the pasta following packet directions or until al dente, which is Italian for “to the tooth”. To test this, remove a piece of pasta from the pan and take a bite – it should be cooked but still slightly firm in the centre. Drain, but don’t rinse the pasta as this will wash away the starch that is needed to absorb the flavours of the sauce.

19. Serve the meatballs and sauce on pasta, garnished with extra parmesan and parsley.

 



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