30 December 2010

Recipe 13 - Jamie Oliver's Pasta With Meatballs (Μακαρονάδα Με Κεφτέδες Του Τζέιμι Όλιβερ)

I love pasta and I love meatballs. The combination of both in the same plate is therefore a win/win scenario for me.

I do have my own, Greek recipe, for this dish. However, today’s recipe comes from none other than Jamie Oliver and I used it on a day when I was missing half of the ingredients for my own recipe. Nevertheless, it still resulted in a tasty dish full of flavours.

For 4-6 people you will need:

4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tsps Dijon mustard
500 gr good-quality minced beef, pork, or a mixture of the two
1 tsp dried oregano
1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
A bunch of fresh basil
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
½ a fresh or dried red chilli
800 gr of chopped tomatoes (I actually grated them for a more smooth sauce)
2 tbps balsamic vinegar
500 gr dried spaghetti or penne
Parmesan cheese, for grating

1.    Pick the rosemary leaves off the woody stalks and chop them

2.    Add to a mixing bowl the mustard, minced meat, chopped rosemary and oregano

3.    Crack in the egg and add a good pinch of salt and pepper

4.    With clean hands scrunch and mix up well

5.    With wet hands roll the mix into little meatballs

6.    Drizzle them with olive oil and jiggle them about so they all get coated. Put them on a plate, cover and place in the fridge until needed

7.    Pick the basil leaves, keeping any smaller ones to one side for later

8.    Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic. Finely slice the chilli

9.    Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add olive oil. (In the photos below I used a large pan instead as I prefer to cook my sauces in a pan, to avoid having the sauce flying off all over the place).

10.    Add your onion to the frying pan and stir for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly golden

11.    Then add your garlic and chilli, and as soon as they start to get some colour add the large basil leaves

12.    Add the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and season to taste. (Note: if your tomatoes are not ripped, you can also add a glass of red wine and a-2 tbsps tomato puree to give the sauce a deep red colour).

13.    Meanwhile, heat another large frying pan and add olive oil and your meatballs

14.    Stir them around and cook for 8–10 minutes until golden (check they’re cooked by opening one up – there should be no sign of pink)

15.    Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer until the pasta is ready, then remove from the heat

16.    Add the pasta in a pan with boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions

17.    When the pasta is ready, save some of the cooking water and drain the pasta

18.    Return the pasta to the pan. Spoon half the tomato sauce into the pasta, adding a little splash of your reserved water to loosen

19.    Serve on a large platter, or in separate bowls, with the rest of the sauce and meatballs on top

20.    Sprinkle over the small basil leaves and some grated Parmesan

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