Monday, 27 April 2015

Spaghetti and meatballs

A classic dish that's almost always turns out delicious, spaghetti and meatballs is a great weeknight meal: if you get your Food Recipes bearings right and plan a little ahead, you can set this dinner up on the table within an hour. What's better, there's plenty of leftovers to be relished later as well!

Servings: 4-5
For the meatballs Chicken mince: 500g; Mutton mince: 500g; Onion: 1 (finely chopped); Eggs: 2 (beaten with a fork); Half cup fresh breadcrumbs; Paprika powder: 1 tsp; Salt: 1 ½ tsp; Pepper: ½ tsp; Olive oil: 1 cup (for frying)

For the sauce

Tomatoes: 5 large (finely chopped); Canned tomato puree: 100g; Onions: 1 (finely chopped); Garlic cloves: 6-7 large (minced); Cheese (preferably parmesan): ¼ cup (grated); Chicken stock cubes: 1-2; Red wine (optional): 150g; Fresh parsley: 1/4 cup; Salt: 1 tsp; Olive oil: 2 tbsp

For the pasta

Spaghetti: 500g; Spring onions: 1 cup (finely chopped); Fresh parsley: ¼ cup; Parmesan cheese: 1 cup; Olive oil: 2 tbsp; Extra virgin olive oil: to drizzle on top; Salt: 1 ½ tsp; Vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, aubergine, spinach, and button mushrooms work very well with spaghetti. Chop them to bite size. For some added crunch, throw in some roasted pinenuts!

Note: If you are running short of time, simply boil the spaghetti and leave out the add-ons.


Meatballs and the sauce

1. First get the meatballs ready. Add both the mince meats, onion, parsley, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, beaten eggs and rest of the seasoning. It's time to get your hands in and mix the ingredients really well. The more you mash the mince, the tenderer your meatballs are going to be.

2. Roll the mince mixture to equal sized balls. You can do this prep way before dinnertime as well. Just make the meatballs and put them in the freezer.

3. When you're ready to fry the meatballs, take a non-stick frying pan and put it on the gas on full. Add the olive oil and bring it to a smoke. Before adding the meatballs, put the oil on medium. Now, pop the meatballs one by one and fry them till they are brown. The meatballs will brown better if spaced out a bit, so be patient with this!

4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil on a flat heavy-bottomed pan. Add the minced garlic and bring it to a sizzle. Stir in the onion and let them caramelise. Now, if you're using chicken stock cubes, add them as well and let it toast.

5. Stir in the tomatoes and add the salt. Cook it till the tomatoes soften up. Then add the canned puree. Add the red wine (or water) and bring it to a boil.

6. Now add the meatballs to the sauce and cover the pan with a lid. Let the meatballs cook in the sauce, on a simmer, for 15 minutes.

7. After 15 minutes, open the lid and check for the sauce consistency. It should be thick enough to stick to the meatballs.

8. Add the parsley and the grated cheese on top before removing the pan from the fire.

9. The meatballs are ready to be served.

Note: It's better to get a combination of mince meats for a melange of flavours and textures; you can also try this recipe with beef and pork.

1. Boil water in a pan. Once the water starts boiling, pop the spaghetti into the water and cook it according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot. Add a teaspoon on oil and mix well, this way the spaghetti won't stick together.
2. In a large skillet, add oil and toss the vegetables till they are roasted.
3. Now, add the spaghetti -- bit by bit while adding salt to it - so that the salt is evenly spread. Mix the vegetables well with the spaghetti. Take it off the gas.
4. Garnish with the parsley and grated cheese.
5. Drizzle the spaghetti with extra virgin olive oil on top, before serving. 

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