Friday, 3 June 2011
Spaghetti and Meatballs with Red Wine Sauce
Spaghetti Bolognaise, Spag Bol, Spaghetti and Meatballs - all these variations on a common theme are very popular around the world. Unfortunately, none of them bear much resemblance to the simple pasta dish from the Italian city of Bologna which provided the initial inspiration. In Italy, the sauce for pasta is very much incidental and is intended merely to complement the pasta itself. In this recipe, I have tried to go some way towards the traditional, while still catering to the wider appeal of a rich, accompanying sauce for pasta.
Ingredients per Portion
8oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
2fl oz red wine
1 clove of garlic
Generous pinch of dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4lb minced/ground beef
1/2 small onion
5oz dried spaghetti
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves to garnish (optional)
Pour one tablespoon only of the olive oil in to a small saucepan. Bring it gently up to a medium heat. Grate in the peeled garlic clove and add the oregano. Stir around for a minute or so before adding the chopped tomatoes and the red wine. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and leave to reduce for twenty minutes, stirring frequently, while the remainder of the dish is prepared.
Very finely dice the half onion. Put it in to a mixing bowl with the beef and season. Use your hand to squeeze the beef and onion together, rather than simply mix them together. There is no need for egg or breadcrumbs. It is important only to achieve almost a paste like consistency before splitting the mixture in to four equal portions and rolling each one in to a ball about the size of a golf ball.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the spaghetti. When the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat to achieve a simmer for ten minutes.
Add the remaining olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and put it on a moderate heat. Gently fry the meatballs while the spaghetti simmers, turning them around in the pan frequently to ensure even cooking.
Drain the spaghetti and return it to the empty pot. Pour in the tomato and red wine sauce and stir carefully around to coat the spaghetti evenly with the sauce. Pour on to the serving plate and sit the meatballs on top. Garnish with the basil leaves (if desired) and serve immediately.