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:: Catherine Fulvio's Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Another recipe from Catherine's cookbook today and it's a damn good one, you seriously can't go wrong with homemade spaghetti and meatballs, especially on a day like today! Can you believe it's already the 1st of September? This dish would make a perfect little warming supper dish so enjoy!

Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Meatballs form the secondi or meat course at the Italian table, while pasta is the primi, so they would not traditionally be served together. That said, they work well together, so if this takes your fancy, allow 400–450g of dried spaghetti to serve four. I also sometimes add 50g freshly grated Parmesan to the meatballs and reduce the salt, yum! Have a bowl of cold water beside you when forming the meatballs to dip your hands into, as keeping your hands moist prevents the meat from sticking when forming the balls.

Serves 6
for the meatballs:
50g fresh breadcrumbs
100ml milk
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
225g minced pork
225g lean minced beef
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
extra virgin olive oil

for the spicy tomato sauce:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
175ml vegetable stock
500g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pasta, to serve
freshly grated Parmesan, to serve

To make the meatballs, first soak the breadcrumbs in the milk.
Mix the chopped onion and garlic with the pork and beef. Add the breadcrumbs, oregano, salt and pepper to the meat mixture and mix well. Add in the beaten egg and mix thoroughly. Roll the mixture into small balls.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and add in the meatballs. Fry for approximately 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chilli and onion and cook on a low heat for 7–10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and leave to simmer for 10 minutes to heat through.
Serve with your favourite pasta and sprinkle grated Parmesan on top.