My perfect spaghetti & meatballs. Superior comfort food and full of flavour. These meatballs are very tender and meaty. As they cook, they’ll season the sauce to perfection.
You can use beef or pork for the meatballs, or a combination of both.
I recommend making your own breadcrumbs using crusty bread
Why add fish sauce to the tomatoes? It won’t taste fishy, I promise! It adds a level of depth and umami flavour.
No pecorino? Pecorino is best for meatballs due to its saltiness, however it can be hard to find so you can just use parmesan.
If you need any further help, or have any questions, you can message me on my Instagram @bonniedoesfood.
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful of fresh basil
1 tsp chili flakes
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 cans whole tomatoes
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional but highly recommended)
30g parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
750g minced beef
3 tablespoons double cream
3 tablespoons crushed tomatoes
Half a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
125g breadcrumbs, softened in milk
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Olive oil for frying
500g spaghetti or rigatoni
FOR THE SAUCE:
Crush your whole tomatoes. You can do this in a bowl with your hands, a potato masher or in a food processor. Reserve 3 tablespoons and set aside to add to your meatballs.
Add olive oil, basil, garlic and chili flakes to a saucepan.
Turn on the hob to a low temperature, you want to slowly infuse the olive oil to flavour your sauce.
Slowly heat until they begin to sizzle, cook for a further 1 minute.
Add crushed tomatoes and stir until oil is incorporated.
Add your seasonings; add salt and pepper to taste, finely grated parmesan, and fish sauce.
Bring to a boil and leave to simmer while you make your meatballs.
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
First task is to create a slurry, this will season the meatballs and add moisture.
To a large mixing bowl, add your double cream, reserved crushed tomatoes, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, pecorino, parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and nutmeg.
Stir your slurry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, add your minced beef.
Add your slurry to the beef in stages, starting with half. Use your hands to combine slurry with meat. You’re aiming for a texture that will hold its shape, but is still nice and soft.
Keep adding your slurry, tablespoon by tablespoon until you’re happy with the texture/moisture. You may not need it all.
Shape into meatballs. You can make them any size you like. I usually make them golf ball sized.
Heat a frying pan on a medium-high heat with about a tbsp of olive oil
Add your meatballs in batches, I fry about 4 at a time
Cook until a golden brown crust forms, carefully turn over and fry the other side until golden brown.
Drop your meatballs into your simmering tomato sauce, continue frying and dropping until all the meatballs are in the sauce.
Very gently push the meatballs into the sauce, at this stage they will be very tender. You want them to be submerged into the sauce but you don’t want to vigorously stir and break them up.
Cook for 1 hour on a low simmer.
When stirring the sauce, be very gentle as to not break up the meatballs, as this cooks, juices from the meatballs will be released. You want to incorporate them without breaking up the meatballs, so don’t stir too often, but be gentle when you do!
FOR THE PASTA/ASSEMBLY:
About 45 mins into cooking the meatballs, put on a pot of heavily salted boiling water to cook your pasta.
Add pasta and boil according to packet instructions (al dente, or softer if you prefer)
Drain your pasta
Plate up, I do this by combining some of the sauce, pasta and a little reserved pasta cooking water in a pan.
I cook this for about 1 minute, then add to a bowl.
I then top with additional sauce and meatballs.
Serve with grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.