beef and pork meatballs with Italian style
Skill level: Easy
1 x English onion, very finely chopped
1 x garlic clove, very finely chopped
250g minced beef
250g minced pork
2 x pancetta slices, finely chopped
1 x large egg, lightly beaten
a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve
60g Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
4-5 tbsp dried breadcrumbs rehydrated in a little milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
tomato and mushroom sauce
water or a splash of wine, to deglaze
- Add a little milk to the dried breadcrumbs to rehydrate them. If you have added too much, don't worry as you can strain them and squeeze out any excess milk.
- Gently fry the onions until softened but not browned - this will take at least 15 minutes! In the last few minutes of cooking, add the garlic and continue to cook. Set aside to cool slightly.
- I tend to mince the beef and pork again to give it a finer texture.
- Mix the minced meats, pancetta, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
- Add the fried onions and garlic and mix well.
- Stir in the egg and cover. Leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour to firm up. (You can leave out this stage before making the meatballs, but I find that they are easier to work with if chilled).
- Form the meatballs - using your hands is easiest. Form them with slightly dampened hands and then roll slightly on a chopping board. (I then set the meatball mixture aside to cool in the fridge for another hour or overnight. This is optional)
- Fry the meatballs in a little olive oil, until lightly browned on each side. You will probably need to do this in batches. Better to do it this way than to overcrowd the pan. The meatballs are easier to move around the pan.
- Remove the meatballs and deglaze the pan with a little water or wine. Scrape up all the tasty bits!
- Return the meatballs to the pan and add enough tomato sauce to almost cover them. Bring the sauce to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Baste the meatballs and leave to cook at a simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour.
- Cook the spaghetti until al dente.
- Serve the meatballs over the pasta with a little chopped parsley and grated cheese.