Spaghetti, meatballs and tomato basil sauce

On the hunt for a super mid-week dinner? This tasty pasta is full of fresh flavour.

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time50 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
250g spaghetti, broken into pieces
60g pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 large bunch parsley
1 bunch basil
60-75g grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
75ml extra virgin olive oil, plus some for liberal drizzling
1kg beef sirloin, minced
1 large egg
50g breadcrumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated
250ml beef stock
800g tinned tomatoes
1) Heat oven to 210C/Gas 7.

2) Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat, salt water and cook pasta to al dente 7 minutes or so, drain and quick-cool on a baking tray.

3) While pasta cooks, toast pine nuts. Make a thick herb pesto by placing the herbs, cheese, garlic and nuts in food processor with salt and pepper. Turn processor on and stream in about 75ml olive oil - make the pesto very thick.

4) Place the meat in a bowl and season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta, egg, breadcrumbs and half the pesto to the meat. Mix to combine, form into 16 balls, and place on a baking paper lined baking tray. Let the spaghetti pop out of meatballs like porcupine quills. Coat the balls with a little olive oil and roast for 12 to 15 minutes until firm and golden in colour. Remove from the oven and place on a serving platter.

5) While the meat roasts, heat a healthy drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, add the tomatoes and crush with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 minutes more, then stir in the remaining pesto.

6) Transfer to a serving bowl or 4 individual ramekins for dipping and serve with the meatballs.

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