Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fresh Pasta with a Ragu of Tiny Meatballs

This is a really easy dish to make - it doesn't take too long and it is very tasty. I made it one lazy Saturday afternoon at BF's request. And I'm very glad I did.

The original recipe calls for beef mince, but I noticed the butcher had a pork and veal mix, and thought that would be much tastier. This was the only change that I made, and I'm glad I did, as it made the dish that little bit more than just plain old spaghetti and meatballs.

First things first, make your fresh pasta (recipe here). Either hang it and allow to dry, or place uncut sheets onto baking paper and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

450g pork and veal mince
1 or 2 dried red chillies, crushed
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 egg
handful freshly grated parmesan
zest of 1 lemon
Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Shape into marble sized balls (I made mine a bit larger than this - lazy!) Place on a tray and put in the fridge.
Tomato Sauce
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and stalks chopped
1 fresh red chilli, whole and pierced with the tip of a knife
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
small swig red wine vinegar

Heat up a little olive oil in a pan, and fry the garlic, basil stalks and the whole chilli. Add the tomatoes and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about half an hour.

knob of butter
handful of freshly grated parmesan

Meanwhile, heat up a frying pan with a little olive oil, then add the meatballs. Cook until they are well coloured, then add them to the tomato sauce. Remove the chilli, and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

When the meatballs are almost done, cook your pasta in a big pot of salted water for 2 or 3 minutes. Drain, add the pasta to the sauce along with the butter and parmesan. Tear over half the basil leaves and toss it all around. Serve topped with extra parmesan and the remaining basil leaves. Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's Cook With Jamie.


  1. How cute are those meatballs! That looks delicious, I think I'll mini-fy my meatballs next time I make them :)

  2. I love meatballs with pasta - I just made some the other night. This is my kind of meal.

    I am glad you liked the fudge - it is very addictive isn't it?

  3. those little meatballs look so tasty!