Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spaghetti with Meatball Sauce, Nigella Lawson Inspired

Of course I didn't have all the ingredients Nigella Lawson used, so its an adapted recipe. But on last Sunday's show she made this meatball sauce and I couldn't resist trying it. The domestic goddess believes that the trick to good meatballs is to keep the size of them s m a l l. She says - " Don't actually use a teaspoon, but use about a teaspoon's amount of mince to roll each ball."

500 gm mince meat
1 egg
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan ( I didn't have parmesan, I used AMUL Gouda)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tablespoons semolina or breadcrumbs
a good grind of black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Tomato sauce
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil (not extra virgin)
bottle tomato passata ( No clue about this, I used 1 Godrej Tomato
Puree, and 4 fresh tomatoes blanched, skinned and chopped small)
pinch sugar
salt and pepper
100ml full fat milk

How to make the meatballs and tomato sauce

Just put everything in a large bowl, and then, using your hands, mix to combine, before shaping into small balls. Place the meatballs on baking sheets or plates that you have lined with cling film, and put in the fridge as you finish them.

For the sauce, put the onion, garlic and oregano into the process and blitz to a pulp. Heat the butter and oil in a deep wide pan, then scrape the onion-garlic mix into it and cook over a low-medium for about 10 minutes. Don't let the mixture catch, just let it become soft.

Add the bottle of passata/ tomato puree and fresh tomatoes and then fill the empty bottle half full with cold water. Add this to the pan with the pinch of sugar, some salt and pepper, and cook for about 15 minutes.
The tomato sauce will appear thin at this stage, but don't worry as it will thicken a little later.

Stir in the milk, and then drop the meatballs in one by one. Don't stir the pan until the meatballs have turned frompink to brown as you don't want to break them up. Cook everything forabout 20 minutes, with the lid only partially covering it. At the end of cooking time, check the seasoning as you may want more salt and a grind or two more of pepper.

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