Melting meatball macaroni | BBC Good Food
300g pork mince
400g beef mince (with around 10% fat)
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
200g cheese - tallegio or mozzarella, chopped into small chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp tomato purée
50ml red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
2 tsp golden caster sugar
400g macaroni or other pasta shape
crusty bread, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Mix the pork and beef mince with the fennel seeds, chilli, 1 tsp oregano and some seasoning in a large bowl until combined.
Divide and shape into 18 meatballs with cheese (a nugget or two of taleggio) in the middle (save some for the top), then chill for 10 mins.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan (use a flameproof casserole dish if you can – it’ll save on washing up).
Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sizzle until softened, about 8 mins.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then add the tomato purée, wine, tomatoes, passata, bay leaves, sugar remaining oregano and lots of seasoning, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, arrange the meatballs on a baking tray lined with foil, drizzle with the remaining oil and bake for 10 mins.
Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving some water.
If the pan is not ovenproof, tip the sauce into a casserole dish.
Stir the pasta into the sauce along with the liquid from the meatballs and some pasta water if it needs thinning.
Turn the grill to a medium-high setting.
Nestle the meatballs into the pasta, so that they poke out the top.
Scatter the remaining cheese (taleggio) over the top and grill for 5-10 mins until the cheese and meatballs are golden.
Serve with crusty bread, if you like.
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