Friday, 15 April 2016

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

We love pasta and we love meatballs, too. We already got a tried and tested spaghetti meatballs recipe but it doesn't stop us to be always on the lookout for any decent meatballs recipe out there in the world. So it's normal that we try out this much vaunted recipe from the Epicurious website that's got a very high review rating from readers. They were right! Only a few adjustments in the recipe and it's all thumbs up from the whole family. The recipe is humongous. Probably enough to feed a horde of people for a party. So I promptly halved and reduced volume and spice proportions and it scaled down well.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

*For the meatballs:

750 g  minced beef
250 g  minced pork
1 1/2 cups torn day-old Italian bread (or any white bread)
1 cup whole milk
1 medium onion - chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves - finely chopped
3 large eggs
60 g  [about 1 cup] parmesan cheese - grated
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
2 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

*For the tomato sauce:

6 x 400 g  cans of chopped or plum tomatoes
1 medium onion - chopped
3 garlic cloves - finely chopped
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 kg  dried spaghetti

*To make tomato sauce:
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onions in medium heat until soft - about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until softened - about a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer uncovered stirring occasionally until thickened - about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Midway through cooking, you can crush the whole tomatoes with a spatula or stick blender.

*To make meatballs:
  1. Fry the onions in a wide frying pan on medium heat. Cook until softened while stirring occasionally - about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook while stirring occasionally until fragrant and softened - about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
  3. Soak bread in milk for about 20 minutes or until soft. Squeeze the bread firmly to remove excess milk. Discard excess milk.
  4. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the vegetable oil. Mix with your hands just until combined - do not overmx.
  5. Form into balls about 28 g (1 oz) in weight or about 1 1/2-inch in diameter.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in the same pan used with the onion and fry the meatballs in batches without crowding until browned all over - about 5 minutes each batch.
  7. Add fried meatballs into the tomato sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Cook spaghetti according to instructions in the packet.
  • Serve spaghetti with meatballs and sauce with the optional grated parmesan cheese on top.