Spaghetti and meatballs


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I never insist on anyone clearing their plate, but sometimes it’s nice when everyone does anyway. And this recipe’s a dead cert for that in my house. Little Lady Swabey has been known to actually lick her plate clean.

It’s a good one to batch cook. The recipe – here – makes about four lots of 20 meatballs, which will happily feed my family of four. It also gives amounts for batch cooking the sauce but I don’t really see the point in taking up valuable freezer space with something that’s so simple to whip up, so I just do that at the time.

The other major thing I changed is that I substituted the sausages for pork mince – it just seemed a marginally less ‘processed’ option.

Prep: 20-30 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 (plus another three meals for the freezer)

  • 500g pork mince
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ a large bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 85g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve if you like
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • spaghetti, to serve (about 100g per portion)

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 400g can plum tomatoes
  • splash red wine (optional)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • few basil leaves (optional)
  1. First make the meatballs. Put the mince, onion, parsley, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, beaten eggs and some seasoning into a large mixing bowl. Get your hands in and mix together well – the more you squeeze and mush up the mince, the more tender the meatballs will be.
  2. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Roll the mince mixture into about 60 squash-ball-size meatballs. Set aside any meatballs for freezing, allowing about five per portion, then spread the rest out in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with a little oil (about 1 tsp per portion), shake to coat, then roast for 20-30 mins until browned.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sizzle for 1 min. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, if using, sugar, parsley and seasoning. Simmer for 15-20 mins until slightly thickened.
  4. While the sauce is thickening, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions and once it is ready, add the meatballs to the sauce and serve them over the spaghetti with grated Parmesan and some basil leaves on top if you wish.
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