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meatballs with fetuccine

Updated June 2021: Every so often I like to revisit an old favorite and classic Italian recipe that is my absolute favorite, and every time it is so worth it and truely delicious. I have eaten spaghetti meatballs/Fettucine Meatballs (In the pic)/Penne meatballs at so many different restaurants and tried so many variations but this one still beats the lot, although I will say that my 2 favorite restaurants to eat Spaghetti meatballs are Col’cacchio in Hyde Park and Dolci Cafe in Craighall Park – At Dolci they like to sertve it with Penne so ask for a different pasta if you prefer. (Enough for 2/3 people or 4 people if you are not big eaters)

If you do not eat pork, simply use the total amount of beef mince.

What you need

250g lean beef mince
250g pork mince (I sometimes use pork sausage meat)
1 tablespoon Italian dried herb mix
1 medium onion finely chopped
small bunch of parsley chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1kg fresh tomatoes that have been grated
25ml Olive oil
25g butter
2 tablespoons fresh mixed herbs like parsley, origanum and Thyme (to your taste and dried herbs can also be used)
Salt and pepper

Your favorite pasta cooked al dente

The process

Cook the onions with a little butter over a medium heat until they are translucent. Add the cooked onions, finely chopped herbs (a nice heap that covers your palm or dried herbs), pinch of salt, generous grind of black pepper and egg and mix it to break up the egg. Add the mince and the bread crumbs and mix to combine all ingredients thoroughly, set aside to rest and for the breadcrumbs to soak up any moisture. I’m not sure if this is a cheffy thing or a method but by accident I discovered that if you leave it to rest for about 30 mins or so, the meatballs are softer and more tender.

In a saucepan add the olive oil, butter, herbs, a pinch of salt and black pepper and grated tomatoes with the juice. bring to the boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer to reduce. This should take about half an hour.

Heat an oven to 200 celsius and on a baking tray, place balls of mince mixture about the size of a golf ball and bake them for about 10 minutes., give the tray a shake so they roll over and then goive them another 10 minutes. They should be lightly browned all over.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce in the saucepan simmer for a few minutes to cook through and serve over spaghetti or your favourite pasta with a generous amount of parmesan.

You can also pour the sauce over the meatballs and pop them back in the oven for about another 10 mins. The pictures show both methods and there is no difference flavor wise. In the oven method, i added little cubes of mozzarella to the meatballs for a nice little surprise. You can also add chili to the sauce if you like a bite to your food.

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