- For the pasta sauce:
- 1 brown onion, medium diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large carrot
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 punnet button or swiss brown mushrooms (approx. 10 -12)
- 1 can tomato puree
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- For the meatballs:
- 500g premium beef or pork mince
- 1 egg
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 brown onion, super finely diced or grated (keep juice & add to mix)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup (approx.) of finely chopped fresh herbs; oregano, thyme, basil (alternatively you can use 2 Tbsp dried herbs)
- 1 bag spaghetti
- Grated parmesan
- Olive oil
- Rice bran oil
- In a deep, heavy bottomed fry pan or large pot on low heat, lightly fry onion in a splash of olive oil until translucent. Add crushed garlic and continue to gently fry for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, finely chop carrot, celery and mushrooms. Add to the pan and cook gently until vegetables soften and begin to colour. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato puree with 1 can of water.
- Stir well, reduce heat and leave to cook, stirring occasionally
- In a medium sized bowl, mix all the meatball ingredients together thoroughly with clean hands.
- Use a soup spoon to measure out the meatball mixture into 45g balls (about the size of a small tomato. You should get between 16 – 18 balls). Form the mixture into a tight ball and roll between your palms. Place on a sheet of baking paper on a plate and set aside, covered, to rest.
- Check the sauce mix, adding more water if required and if using, add the dried herbs.
- Place a non stick fry pan onto a medium heat, add rice bran oil and gently transfer meat balls one by one into the pan, gently shaking the pan occasionally to stop the meatballs from sticking. Using tongs, turn the meatballs as the cook until they are browned all over. Remove from pan and set aside to rest.
- Fill a large saucepan with water to ¾ full, add 1 tsp salt and bring to the boil. Cook pasta as per packet instructions.
- Check the sauce, adding more water if required and add fresh herbs (if using), the sauce should be thick but still liquid. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as required.
- Gently add the meatballs to the sauce, as well as any liquid on the plate, stirring gently to cover the meatballs in the sauce.
- Once cooked, drain the spaghetti, stir through 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide between warmed plates.
Gently ladle the sauce and meatball mixture over the spaghetti, sprinkle with parmesan and serve.
Add 6 – 8 rashers of finely chopped cooked bacon to the sauce for a fuller flavour.
- Lightly wet hands make for easier rolling of the meatballs.
- To reduce tears whilst grating/cutting the onions, wear rubber gloves.
- Using 1 cup crumbled fresh bread instead of ½ cup dried breadcrumbs will give you a lighter, softer meatball.