Friday, 3 January 2014

Rustic Spaghetti Meatballs

Today we had dinner guests.  We had friends staying with as they passed through town from a Summer festival on their way back home.  They arrived unshowered, full of "festival food" (apparently this is a mix of satay sticks, nachos and over-priced drinks) and had spent the last 10 hours driving in a badly air-conditioned car.  Safe to say they were keen for a big feed - and no other country quite gets that 'home comfort' food like the Italians.

So another savoury one for you today - Rustic Spaghetti Meatballs.  These guys are super super delicious!  The secret.. the zest of one lemon and a good handful of chopped fresh parsley.

Rustic Spaghetti Meatballs

500g Organic Beef Mince
2 eggs
1 tsp Dried Basil Leaves
Rind of one lemon
1 tbs of lemon juice
3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used 3 slices of gluten free bread and crumbled it by hand)
A good handful of parsley (about a quarter of a bunch)
Salt and Pepper to season
1 tbs Olive Oil
1tbs Butter

1/2 red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic
700g Passata Tomato Sauce
Salt and pepper to season

A packet of dried spaghetti
Parmesan and extra chopped parsley to serve

In a large mixing bowl combine the mince, eggs, basil, lemon rind and lemon juice and mix well with your hands.  It should feel quite wet and gooey - I love this part - I love working with my hands when cooking!  Add the breadcrumbs and the fresh parsley and stir until just combined.  Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the mixture has chilled.

Remove from fridge and roll into small balls and set aside- I tend to make mine on the slightly smaller side as it produces more meatballs and takes less time to cook.

In a large frypan heat the oil and butter.  Cook your meatballs in batches making sure that they are brown all over before removing them from the heat and placing on a plate covered with paper towel.  Meanwhile fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to the boil.  Once boiling add your spaghetti and cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn't stick.

Meatballs after being cooked waiting to be added to the tomato sauce.

Once all of your meatballs have cooked, return the frypan to the heat and saute the onion and garlic until clear.  Pour in the Passata sauce and bring to a simmer before returning the meatballs to the sauce and cooking for approximately 10 minutes.  Drain pasta and put in a big serving bowl.  Pour meatballs and tomato sauce on top. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with extra parsley and shaved parmesan cheese.

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