Elix and I love meatballs and spaghetti, its more adventurous than Bolognese, quick and easy to cook for dinner after work and allows us to experiment with different sauces. Im going to share with you our two favourite meatball recipes – Lucas Hollweg’s Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs from his book Good Food to Eat and Jamie Oliver’s Tuna Meatballs from Jamie’s Italy.
Lucas Hollweg’s Meatballs grace the back cover of his book and invite you in with their colourful, messy charm exuding comfort food of the more exotic variety. As soon as i bought the book the picture challenged me to try the recipe and since then there has been no going back. The meatballs are made by mixing lamb mince with a spicy mix and serving with a rich tomato sauce and spaghetti. There are no breadcrumbs so the dish stays light and delicate.
2 tbsp mild sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 handfuls coriander leaves, chopped
3 handfuls flat leaf parsley, chopped
500g lamb mince
grated zest 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cans plum tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
Mix together the spices, garlic, coriander, 2 handfuls or parsley in a food processor. Combine half of this mixture with the lamb and lemon zest and season. Shape this into 24 equal sized balls with your hands.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches until browned on all sides and place to one side.
Leaving only 1 tbsp oil in the pan fry the onion and gently cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining spice mix and cook for a minute or so until the spicy aroma begins to escape from the pan. Add the tomatoes, sugar and season. Stir in 150ml water and bring to the boil, then allowing to simmer for 20 minutes until you have a thick, rich sauce.
Add the meatballs to this and cover to simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti.
When ready toss the pasta with the meatballs and sauce and serve with a sprinkling of parsley and some parmesan if you are Elix and love to top everything with cheese!
Onto Jamie’s – Judy Babs used to make these tuna meatballs a lot for us when we were younger and so as well as being super tasty they are also a warming memory of home. Now i know Tuna Meatballs arent strictly meat but Tunaballs sounds rather weird so i think lets stick to what Jamie says!
Tomato Sauce Meatballs
olive oil 400g tuna – i use tin as I find works better than steak
1 onion, finely chopped olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced 55g pinenuts
1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tins plum tomatoes 1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper 100g breadcrumbs
red wine vinegar handful fresh leaf parsley, chopped
small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped salt and pepper 2 eggs zest and juice of 1 lemon 55g grated parmesan
For the sauce
Fry the onion and garlic slowly in some oil, add the oregano, tomatoes, salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Liquidize or mash until smooth. It may need some red wine vinegar to add some extra sharpness.
For the meatballs
Fry the tuna, pinenuts and cinnamon in a little oil for a couple of minutes to toasted. Once cooled, mix in a bowl with the oregano, parsley, breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan, eggs, lemon juice and zest. Mix together by hand and shape into small ball shapes. Leave in the fridge for 30 mins to an hour to rest.
Fry the tuna meatballs in a little oil until browned on all sides. Add them to the sauce and simmer until hot to eat and mixed.
Top with parsley and serve with pasta (our favourite or crusty bread and salad)