Spaghetti & Meatballs

When it comes to a comforting meal, for me pasta is king. Whether it is macaroni cheese, bolognese, lasagne, my go to pasta recipe or spaghetti and meatballs, I am a big fan; James loves meatballs but nearly all meatball recipes have breadcrumbs in, so since I gave up gluten, meatballs have been off the list. Until, that is, I had some stale gluten free bread and thought to make breadcrumbs out of it. Don’t ask me why this hasn’t occurred to me before.

Meatballs (gluten free)

I think this might be my go to meatball recipe from now on. I have made other meatballs and they were tasty too but I quite like the combination of pork and beef in these (although feel free to use whatever mince takes your fancy).

I know it says spaghetti and ideally spaghetti it would be but I used dried gluten free pasta for this and of all the shapes, fusilli cooks the best. I used some left over sauce I had using my roasted tomato sauce recipe, then made the sauce below for the left over meatballs/remaining portions (it made 6 portions, so we had it for three nights, the meatballs freeze really well once cooked).

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

Meatballs:

  • 0.5 cup (2 slices of bread’s worth) of breadcrumbs (gluten free if required)
  • 500 g of minced pork
  • 250 g of minced beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 tsp of dried herbs (I chose basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary), optional
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 0.25 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or more, to fry

Sauce:

  • 2-3 tins of plum tomatoes (whole or chopped), depending how saucy you want it to be
  • A generous splash of red wine, to taste
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Any fresh herbs (might I highly recommend basil)
  • One clove of garlic, minced, optional
  • Enough pasta for what you require, cooked as per instructions

Method:

  1. Start by preparing the meatballs. In a small bowl mix the breadcrumbs with 1 tbsp of water, mix until the moisture is evenly distributed. Set these aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the meat, egg, garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper and any herbs. Mix well with a wooden spoon/spatula until evenly combined.
  3. Stir in the moistened breadcrumbs.
  4. Shape into meatballs, using a spoon to scoop out a portion and roll it in your hands. I made 54 small meatballs but the size and quantity is up to you.
  5. Heat a skillet or heavy bottomed pan and add some oil to the pan. Once hot, cook the meatballs, in batches, until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. Once they are all cooked, set them aside on a plate.
  6. Make the sauce: Place the ingredients for the sauce into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  7. Heat the sauce required (all of it if serving all your meatballs) with the meatballs in a saucepan until the sauce and meatballs are hot. (Should you have the luxury of time, leave your sauce to simmer for 20-30 minutes before adding the meatballs to it). Cook your pasta during this time.
  8. Drain and serve your pasta, topped with meatballs and lots of grated Parmesan (optional but very strongly recommended).
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