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Rich Italian Meatballs with buttered tagliatelle

Italian Meatballs is such an easy dish to make, prepare and serve, not to mention that it is also cheap to prepare. Your probably looking at around £1:30 per head based on a family of 4.

When making meat balls it is important to use a mixture of minced pork and beef, cooking your onions and garlic is another good tip when making this dish. Why not instead of using pork mince try using bacon or if you want to splash out pancetta is a great alternative.

You should allow around 2hrs of cooking time but it does take very little preparation.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Fresh tagliatelle pasta (homemade or shop bought)

Italian meatballs.
  • 250g pork mince/pancetta/unsmoked bacon.
  • 300g beef mince (steak mince is preferable but you will pay a lot more for it)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and pepper to taste (remember if using bacon or pancetta to adjust salt accordingly)

Rich tomato sauce

  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 100ml red wine (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Dried basil
  • 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 400ml weak chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 onion finely sliced

Method

  • Firstly to make your sauce you will need to sweat off your onions and garlic over a low heat for 3-4 Min's. Now add the red wine and reduce by about half.
  • Next add your tomatoes, stock, puree, herbs, seasoning and sugar and bring gently to the boil.
  • Cover saucepan and allow to simmer for thirty minutes.
  • Meanwhile sweat off the onion and garlic for the meat balls, allow to cool slightly and place in a robo chef along with the mince, pork, seasoning, herbs and egg yolk. Food process until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  • Divide into 16 equal sized balls and press together, fry these off on a medium to high heat until browned all over.
  • Place in the bottom of an oven proof dish.
  • Next take the sauce and allow to cool slightly before quickly liquidising it in your robo chef or stick blender. You should only do this for a minute maximum so the sauce still has a rough texture. Preheat the oven to around 190*c
  • Pour the sauce over the meatballs, cover with a lid or tin foil and place in the centre of the oven for around 1hr, then uncover stir and continue to cook for 45mins or until sauce has thickened and reduced..
  • 10 minutes before the Italian meatballs are ready place a pan of water onto boil and cook pasta in boiling water for 4 mins. Drain season and add a small knob of butter the pasta.
  • Place pasta on plate and add the meatballs and sauce to the top.
  • Serve with Parmesan

Why not try stuffing your meatballs with mozzarella for variation. This is so easy to do, you can cut a small 1cm square piece of mozzarella and make the meat ball around it.

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