These, I promise, are light, moist and really tasty.

We made them to serve with spaghetti, but then also whacked a couple in a hotdog bun for an easy and tasty sub. They would be perfect with a jacket potato no doubt. This recipe calls for 3 stages – making pasta, the meatballs and then the sauce – but each stage is very straight forward, you can just use dried pasta instead , and the sauce is super quick.

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Ingredients:

Pasta:
(serves two per egg – or use about 80 g of dried pasta per person)

  • 1 large egg
  • 130 g (1 cup) of of flour
  • ~1 tsp. of water

Meatballs:
(this makes 23 meatballs; use three, or four if you are hungry, for a main course)

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of breadcrumbs (about 3-4 slices of bread, crusts removed)
  • 1 egg
  • ~1 tbsp. of milk
  • 500 g (1/2 lb) of minced beef and pork (the butcher did half and half for us – but just beef or pork wouldn’t be the end of the world!)
  • 2-3 rashers of very finely chopped bacon
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. of dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. of dried thyme
  • 1 mild-medium chilli (optional)
  • a little flour, for dusting
  • a little oil, for shallow frying

Sauce:

  • A little oil for shallow frying (or use the pan used for making the meatballs)
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 800 g of passata, or canned tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes – skinned (you’ll need to let the sauce simmer for longer though if use fresh tomatoes)
  • a generous handful of fresh basil (or 1/3rd basil, 1/3rd oregano, and 1/3rd parsley)
    (or use 3 tsp of dried herbs)

Method:

  • For the pasta, place the flour in a bowl and, with the water, crack the egg into the middle.
  • Stir the egg, so that flour slowly gets pulled into, and mixed in with the egg. Eventually you should have a uniform and fairly stiff dough. It shouldn’t be sticky – if it is add a little flour until it isn’t (or rather is very slightly).
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean surface an knead it for about 5 minutes.
  • Now it should put in the fridge to rest while you prep the meatballs and sauce.
  • To make the meatballs, mix together the bread crumbs and the egg plus a little milk – the breadcrumbs should be amply moist, even soggy, but no liquid should pool.
  • Very finely chop the bacon, and mix this in too.
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  • Mince the onion garlic and chilli in a food processor (don’t clean the bowl – you’ll use it later for the sauce), or you could finely chop them instead – the smaller the better. Add to the meat.
  • Now you can roll the mixture into balls – about the size of ping-pong balls. Roll them in flour, then dust of any excess flour so they are lightly covered.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan, and fry the balls until they start to colour. Then set aside while you make the sauce.
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  • Next, to make the sauce fry the onions with the garlic until they turn translucent. (If you are using dried pasta, now is the time to put it on. It won’t take more than 11 minutes to make the sauce and let the meatballs simmer in it.)
  • Then add the tomatoes and herbs. At this point I whacked it in the food processor – as I prefer the sauce smooth – and blitzed before returning it to the pan. Now it’s finished – you can add the meatballs and heat them through while you roll out and cook the pasta, or if you used fresh tomatoes let it simmer for 15 minutes or so.
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  • Finally, roll out the pasta and pass it through the spaghetti attachment.
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  • Cook in boiling salted water for 1.5 – 3 minutes, according to how well you like your pasta done.
  • Serve!
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