Spaghetti and Meatballs

A true classic, and for me, like any pasta dish, spaghetti and meatballs is just pure comfort in a bowl. I’m convinced I was meant to be Italian, it is by far the cuisine I feel most comfortable cooking, and it’s also the one I seek out when I need comfort.

For this recipe, I’ve kept it simple with a tomato and basil sauce, and the meatballs are made from a mix of beef mince and sausage meat. You could use pork mince instead, but I am obsessed with the sausage meat from Donald Butcher and it adds such great flavour. Let me know if you decide to make it – comment below and be sure to tag me in your photos  @theglasgowdiet on Instagram!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients (makes approx 16 meatballs)
250g beef mince
250g sausage meat
1 onion, finely diced
2 tsp fine breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch chilli flakes
500g tomato passata
1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Handful of fresh basil, leaves roughly torn
1 tbsp mascarpone
350g spaghetti
Grated parmesan, to serve

1. Put the beef mince, sausage meat, half of the diced onion, the breadcrumbs and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix together until well combined, then wet your hands slightly and take spoonful’s of the mixture and form them into balls. Place on a plate and repeat with all of the mixture.
2. Put a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, then sear the meatballs on all sides until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add a little more oil to the pan if you need it, then add the remaining half of the diced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for five minutes until soft, then add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute. Add the tomato passata, the balsamic and the mascarpone. Half-fill the passata container with water, swirl it around, then add the tomatoey water to the pan. Bring to the boil, then add the meatballs back to the pan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
4. While the sauce simmers, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti to packet instructions. Drain the pasta and add it to the meatballs and sauce along with the basil leaves. Toss everything together, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with some grated parmesan on top.

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