This past Sunday afternoon I had a big plan to make stock. Unfortunately I hadn't checked my bank account in a few days and when I was about to leave to buy the supplies I realized there was no chance. I quickly flipped through Mandi's new Jamie Oliver cookbook thinking pasta would be delicious and knowing we had eggs and flour so the actual noodle part would be free. I found an extremely simple recipe for pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce. This intrigued me because I suddenly realized that I follow all sorts of recipes for all types of food, but when I make spaghetti and meatballs I always just do my same variation on my mother / grandmother's recipe. Something new might be fun.
After making this meal I was looking online to see if I could find the recipe so I wouldn't have to transcribe it here. What I found was a few blogs who had made this dish. I was kind of disappointed that none of them made pasta. I think the key to this dish is the fresh pasta. With dried pasta, I don't think you would be able to taste the subtle flavors of the chile and cinnamon and basil stalks in the sauce and meatballs - it would just become your average spaghetti and meatballs. I was going to link them here but I didn't want to be a jerk. However if you Google - "pappardelle with a ragu of tiny meatballs" you will see a few butcheries of this recipe.
Pound ground beef -Jamie makes a point in the book to say have the butcher grind this in front of you and be sure to get hormone and antibiotic free meat
1-2 Dried chillies
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 Nutmeg, grated
3 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Large egg - He also points out this should be free range organic
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Zest of 1 lemon - I personally think you should use less, maybe a half?
Salt and pepper
For the tomato sauce
2-3 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A Bunch of basil, leaves picked and stalks chopped
1 Fresh red chilli, pierced with the tip of a knife - I used a dried for this
2 x 400g Tins of plum tomatoes
Swig of red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
After that it's pretty standard. Combine the meatball ingredients, form small meatballs. Put garlic, basil stalks, and chile in olive oil in saucepan. 5 min later crush and add plum tomatoes. Simmer half hour or so. Fry meatballs just to brown edges. Let them finish cooking in the sauce for another 15 min or so. Cook fresh pasta, combine. Done.
This is mandi dicing up 2 dried chilies for the meatballs. This and cinnamon were some of the variations I was excited about
We had leftover pearl onions and we thought it would be a cool idea since they would be the same size as the meatballs.
Basil Stalks - another interesting thing I wouldn't have thought of.
The basil stalks and garlic are simmering with another whole dried chilie.
This is after adding the whole tomatoes (crushed in my hands) to the garlic and stalks. The onions are just frying in a bit of olive oil.
I normally broil my meatballs but I am trying different things for this recipe so why not?
Let them finish cooking in the sauce.
Having a pizza party is awesome. Left over dough!
Anne Burrell... errrr I mean Mandi is working away on the pasta.
We normally lay out the pasta on the bed but on Jamie at Home, he just threw it in a pile and dumped it in the water. So I figured it would be easier. why not try it.
Looks great. The meatballs could have been a little smaller in my opinion to match the onions better. I was cutting them in half while eating.
Go to the top of the post and look at the picture in the book again. If we had an angled cutter, it would look very similar.