I have been trying to introduce more and more international dishes to my cooking pallette these days. As it was a working day, we decided to stay in for a quiet home-cooked meal on our anniversary night and to celebrate over the weekend instead. The menu I finally decided upon was- The classic spaghetti with meat-balls, potato gratin, chilly-cheese garlic bread, wine (duh!) and chocolate cake for the dessert.
Succulent meatballs in a rich, delicious tomato sauce served on spaghetti, is a beloved Italian-American dish. This was my first time trying this recipe at home and the results turned out to be very very satisfactory. Hubby, who is not a huge fan of international cuisines, gave it full marks too! Will share all the recipes of our lovely anniversary meal one by one but first, here’s the star of my romantic Italian dinner for you….
Give this recipe a go and enjoy!
For the meat-balls-
250 grams of beef mince
2 tbsn breadcrumbs
1 tbsn ginger-garlic paste
1 onion, grated. SQUEEZE OUT AS MUCH WATER AS YOU CAN FROM IT!!
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red chilly powder (optional)
1 tsp coriander powder (optional)
2 tbsn olive oil to shallow fry
For the sauce-
3-4 tbsn olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
500 ml of vegetable stock
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprig of thyme
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Some fresh basil, chopped
1 pack spaghetti
Some grated parmesan cheese
-Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and knead it together like a dough. Do not over-knead just till everything is uniformly mixed well. Shape into medium sized balls.
– In a non-stick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Shallow fry all the meat-balls together, gently turning them over every 5-7 minutes. Cook till they are completely done and set aside.
– In the same pan, heat the olive oil for the sauce.
-Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until tender.
– Add the full can of chopped tomatoes and give everything a nice stir. Cook for around 5-6 minutes, covered.
-Add the stock and season your sauce with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings. Also throw in your thyme and bayleaf. Keep on simmer and let it reduce covered, for at least 20 minutes or till you get the desired thick, saucy consistency. Stir every 5 minutes.
-Next, gently place the meatballs in the sauce. Mix carefully once. Cook on low flame for more 6-7 minutes.
– Add some fresh basil leaves and switch off the flame. Your sauce is ready to serve!
-Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain. Sprinkle with some extra virgin olive oil.
-Transfer the pasta immediately to a plate or a bowl and serve a portion of hot sauce and meatballs on top of it. Add a fine grating of Parmesan cheese and garnish with salt, pepper and some reserved chopped basil.
-You can also add a dash of red wine in your sauce to make it more aromatic, just before you add your tomatoes. I didn’t have any lying around in the house so didn’t use any, otherwise it really goes very well with this sauce recipe.