TGIFOOD

TGIFOOD

What’s cooking today: Spaghetti & Meatballs

What’s cooking today: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs with homemade tomato sauce. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

While cooking this I wrote in a note: ‘Italian meatballs not really but anyway’, because the dish, far from being Italian, is as American as apple pie, Uncle Sam and eating Mac ’n Cheese as a side dish.

Having said that, spaghetti and meatballs is best with a simple Italian tomato sauce, and in this recipe I include a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese in the meatballs mix, as well as grating a little over on the plate before serving.

It’s a meal every family should have in its repertoire; it’s proper comfort food, and delicious too.

(Serves 2 to 4)

Ingredients

500 g lean beef mince

1 large onion, finely chopped or grated (reserve half for the sauce)

2 thick slices of day-old white bread

3 Tbsp milk

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (reserve half for the sauce)

2 Tbsp parsley, chopped very finely

1 Tbsp grated Parmesan (and more for serving)

1 XL egg, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tbsp olive oil

Leaves of 3 or 4 oregano sprigs, picked

4 or 5 basil leaves, torn up

50 ml tomato paste

½ tsp sugar

1 small glass dry white wine

1 x 400 ml can chopped tomatoes

½ (250g) of a 500 g packet of spaghetti (use more if feeding 4 people)

Method

Soak the bread and half of the grated onion in milk for 30 minutes. Including the onion in this step removes the onion’s sharpness and obviates the need to fry it before making your meatball mix.

Squeeze the milk out, and add the remaining bread and onion to a bowl.

Chop the parsley and add this and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves to the mix (the remaining garlic is for the tomato sauce). Crumble the mince in. Add the grated Parmesan, season with salt and pepper, add the egg, and work the mix together with clean hands until evenly combined.

Form the mixture into balls. Put them on a tray and in the fridge for half an hour or longer to firm up.

While the meatball mixture is in the fridge, make the tomato sauce. Sauté the remaining chopped onion and the remaining garlic in olive oil until softened. Add the picked leaves of the oregano sprigs and the torn basil leaves, the tomato paste and half a teaspoon of sugar, and simmer for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the wine and cook away for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pan fry the meatballs in olive oil, turning once, until done. 

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in rapidly boiling lightly salted water until al dente, then drain.

Toss the pasta in the tomato sauce and plate up, topped by meatballs and grated Parmesan. DM168/TGIFood

Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.

Send your recipes to [email protected] with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

Thank God It’s Food is sponsored by Pick n Pay.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz