Sorry Lady and the Tramp, this one’s definitely not for sharing.
From koftë in Turkey to köttbullar in Sweden, meatballs are popular the world over. But it is the classic Italian polpette – served with a heap of spaghetti, a generous serving of tomato sauce and snow-like sprinkling of parmesan – that we just can’t get enough of.
At Stylist, we couldn’t think of a much better dish to hunker down with on a cold night.
Classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe
Serves: 4 (makes 25-30 meatballs)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced into half moons
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 fat garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsps dried oregano (or marjoram)
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 2 x 400g cans peeled plum tomatoes
- 200ml chicken stock
For the meatballs:
- 500g minced beef
- 500g minced pork
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 75g breadcrumbs
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed to a powder
- Spaghetti or linguine
- Roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Step 1: First, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium heat.
When warm, add the onion, pepper, salt, tomato paste and cayenne and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the oregano, sugar, tomatoes (breaking them up with a wooden spoon as you go), and stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Step 2: Meanwhile, make the meatballs. preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7. Grease a baking tray or line with foil. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together using your hands. Roll the mixture into around 25 to 30 golf ball-sized spheres. Place the meatballs on the tray and roast in the oven for 7 minutes, turning the meatballs once, then cook for another 7 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Step 3: Once the sauce has cooled, blitz until smooth using a blender. Add the sauce back to its casserole and add the meatballs. Poach gently for 5 minutes, keeping the lid on (or use foil to cover).
Step 4: Cook spaghetti or linguine in a pan of salted water until al dente, then serve, topped with the meatballs and tomato sauce and finish with freshly grated parmesan and fresh parsley.
Recipe from Black Sea by Caroline Eden (£25, Quadrille), out now.
View more recipes from Stylist here.
Image: Black Sea by Caroline Eden, Quadrille