When some friends and I were talking the other day about your desert island meal - ie if you were only allowed to eat one thing for the rest of your life - I couldn't decide initially. Then, I realised I was being ridiculous, it was of course spaghetti and meatballs! Most definitely the meal of champions.
FYI the quantities below are for two hungry people, or three more civilised folk.
For the meatballs
500g minced pork
some fresh basil
half a large white onion
three cloves of garlic
white or golden breadrumbs
50g grated parmesan
For the sauce
500ml chopped tomatoes or passata
half a large white onion
1 red chilli
200ml (good quality) beef stock
250g spaghetti / linguine
To any muslim and jewish followers out there (or just those of you who aren't that keen on pork), you could obviously always replace the pork with beef. In general, for some seriously gourmet-melt-in-the-mouth meatballs, using veal is simply the most delectable thing ever.
Although I'd love to lay claim to this recipe entirely myself, it is in fact adjusted from the chef's recipe at the fantastic Daphne's in London.
Right, let's get started...
Get your chopping board and knife and start chopping up your half onion, basil and 3 cloves of garlic.
I get SUPER bored of chopping. But, it's very important to get the pieces pretty fine here, because this will be going into your meatballs. To make life a little quicker, just use scissors for the basil. Also, I've noticed that men seem to really like chopping, so if you have one around, enlist him!
Put your chopped goods in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. I've got an electric cooker and put it on 4/6. The idea is not to properly fry the ingredients, but just to cook and soften. Once they're done, leave them to cool.
While your vegetables are cooking get out your minced pork and put into a dish big enough for you to be able to stir in the other ingredients and roll into meatballs.
Time to chop again! Get your half onion, chilli and 3 cloves of garlic cut up and grate your parmesan.
Now fry the next round of half onion, garlic and your chilli. Again, the aim is just to cook and soften. Once the onions are see through, add your chopped tomatoes or passata and tomato puree. Once lightly boiling, add your beef stock.
Once your frying pan goods have cooled down, mix them up with your parmesan and breadcrumbs, add to the pork and start rolling your meatballs.
Put your meatballs in a non stick frying pan and first turn up to a high heat to brown the outsides, then turn down to a lower heat to cook through.
At the same time, get your spaghetti on the boil.
Step 7 Start serving and get eating!