This is a dish to bring young and old together to indulge in a bit of immature slurping of spaghetti strings, and splashing of tomato sauce on shirts, white tablecloths, pets, etc. I’ve witnessed grown men and women go loopy about meatballs, singing silly songs about them rolling out of the door. I myself am not immune to the charms of the meatball, and have been known to shriek with delight at the mere site of them.
My meatballs are inspired by the glorious mountains of the same served by Fratelli Fresh. They often serve their meatballs with bucatini (more a long noodle than spaghetti) which adds 5 points of difficulty to sucking them into your mouth, and 500 points more fun. I think the recipe is pretty close, but I suspect also a bit healthier, with significantly less fat and oil.
If you’re going to give these babies a go readers, I recommend you make up a stupid song while you’re cooking. You are, after all, what you eat. Enjoy!
- Makes: 4 to 6 serves
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 35 minutes
- Wine match: A light red like Gamay, Beaujolais or Pinot Noir
- 1kg Pork and veal mince (or 600gm pork mince and 400gm veal mince)
- 6 tbsp parmesan, plus extra to serve
- 6 tbsp flour, plus extra for dusting the meatballs
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 400gm cans of cherry tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic
- 500gm spaghetti
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C (392F).
To make the tomato sauce pop the cherry tomatoes and garlic into a small saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until it’s time to plate up.
To make the meatballs mix the meats, parmesan, flour, oregano, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Be very generous with salt and pepper – the fats of the meat will thank you. Roll the mixture into 8 to 10 large balls.
You need to move the frying pan from the stove top to the oven, so make sure the handle is ovenproof. On the stove top heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Coat each meatball in the extra flour then pop them in the pan, browning them evenly (about 5 minutes). Transfer the frying pan and meatballs to the oven to finish cooking, about 30 minutes.
While the meatballs are in the oven bring a large, deep pot of water to the boil. Add a tbsp salt and the spaghetti. Boil until al-dente per the instructions on the packet.
To serve, simply place a meatball atop a hillock of spaghetti and spoon in the tomato sauce. Serve with the extra grated parmesan.