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Saturday, February 25, 2012

La Bamba Spaghetti & Meatballs

Growing up there was a commonly known parody to “La Bamba” which included a reference to Spaghetti and Meatballs, and so when naming this spicy meatball dish how could I resist the temptation to name it after this fun childhood song?

Meatballs are one of those incredibly diverse and also incredibly easy things to make that can be served in countless ways from an addition to a bolognaise to a meal of their own served with a dipping sauce to create the perfect finger food. Our preference is obviously with spaghetti and a very simple tomato based sauce.

My tip with my meatballs is I always grate the onion as it mixes into a mince meat mixture far more efficiently and creates a smoother textured meatball unlikely to fall apart once cooked.

This should make about 30 meatballs, enough to feed four people.

What do I need?

Meat Balls
500g mince
1 Onion, grated
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Turmeric
½ tbs Chilli, minced
1/2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Egg
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pasta Sauce
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, finely diced
2 Clove Garlic, minced
2 tbs Tomato Paste
500g can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup Red Wine
1 tsp Basil, dried
1 tsp Sage, dried
1 tsp Oregano, dried
1/2 tsp Rosemary, dried

250g Spaghetti

Now what?

1.         Let’s start with the meatballs by grating the onion into a bowl, squeezing out any excess moisture, and discarding the liquid.

2.         Once the onion has been grated and removed of excess liquid next combine mustard, turmeric, Tabasco sauce, basil, thyme, breadcrumbs, parmesan and egg into the grated onion and mix thoroughly using clean hands. Add as much or as little salt and pepper to suit your taste.

3.         Now that the mixture is combined thoroughly, form 2-3cm balls and set aside in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes – this will allow all the flavours to mix and mature and really let the meatballs develop into full flavour.

4.         Set your water for the spaghetti to start boiling, ensuring it is well salted – once boiling, add your spaghetti.

5.         In a small saucepan, heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat and then add the onion and garlic, stirring until translucent and fragrant – about 3-4 minutes.

6.         Next, add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, herbs and wine and reduce to a simmer.

7.         Whilst the sauce simmers, heat about a tablespoon of oil in a fry pan over a medium heat and add your meatballs to start cooking – this should take about 10 minutes, ensuring that they are turned frequently in order to cook through evenly.

8.         Once both pasta is al dente, meatballs are cooked through, and the sauce thickened, pile into a bowl and enjoy!