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Friday, 22 February 2013

Food: Spaghetti Meat Balls

Universally adored, this recipe uses both beef and pork mince. The pork mince is essential because it softens the meat ball. 100% beef results in a tough, chewy meat ball. You don't need any binding ingredients like egg - the two types of meat bind beautifully.

Serves 4-6 - Takes 45 minutes

For the meat balls:
500g pork mince
500g beef mince
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper
optional: fennel seeds, chopped finely

For the tomato sauce:
2 large tins of chopped tomatoes (I like the sauce to be really smooth, so I tend to blitz this in a food processor or use passata instead)
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

500g spaghetti
optional: freshly grated parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Add all of the meat ball ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to ensure that all the ingredients are well incorporated - you want an even distribution of pork and beef mince.
3. Make the meat balls using your hands - each meat ball needs to be about 4cm in diameter.
4. Add the meat balls to an oven proof dish and cook for 20 minutes.
5. Add the tomato sauce ingredients to the meat balls and stir gently.
6. Cover and place back into the oven for a further 15 minutes.
7. 10 minutes before the end of the meat ball cooking time, place your spaghetti into a large pan of salted boiling water.
8. Serve up and top with freshly grated parmesan.

This recipe also makes a wicked spaghetti meatball soup. Just make smaller, mouth sized meat balls (about 2cm), reduce the amount of spaghetti and break it into 5cm pieces, and increase the amount of tomato sauce. This is easily transported in a thermos flask and makes a great lunch on the go.

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