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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spaghetti and meatballs

Here's another Italian pasta dish. Well, not exactly Italian. Originally, pasta and meatball recipe was conceived by Italian-Americans around the year 1920. It uses the long form of pasta called spaghetti. This is my very first trial and it came out to be an absolute winner, reminds me of a restaurant in New York, where I had it a few years back. The original version uses beef, I have used mutton here.

Meatball -
Minced mutton - 400 gms
Chopped garlic  - 1 tbsp
Grated cheese (Gouda) - ¼ cup
Bread slice - 2 thick, soaked in milk for a minute and then squeezed
Egg - 1, lightly beaten
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - ¼ cup, chopped
Oregano - ¼ tsp
Lemon zest - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp, freshly ground
Oil for shallow fry
Salt to taste

Tomato sauce -
Red ripe tomato - 9 medium sized
Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 4-5 cloves, minced
Basil - ½ cup
Red chilly flakes - 1 ½ tsp
Salt to taste

Spaghetti - 350 gms
Rosemary fresh or dried
Parmesan cheese


Take minced mutton in a large bowl, add rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly with your hands (DO NOT squeeze the mince). Let it stand for 5 minutes. Then, make balls out of them, roughly of size 1 to 1 ½ inch.  Place the balls in a tray, cover with cling film and place it in the refrigerator for around ½ hour. Heat a pan over high flame, add oil for shallow frying. Fry the meatballs in batches until they a brown on all sides. Set it aside on an absorbent paper.

Cut the tomatoes into half, remove most of the seeds using your fingers. Then cut them into quarters. Heat the oil in a pan, add garlic and the chilly flakes. Saute till the garlic gives off its aroma. Add tomatoes and cook on a high flame till the sauce thickens. With the help of a wooden spoon mash the tomato as much as possible. Add roughly chopped basil and salt. Cook for another 10 minutes. Roughly run the hand blender for ½ minute in the sauce to smooth any tomato chunks. Now add the meatballs, coat them nicely in the tomato sauce. Lower the heat, cover the the pan and cook for about 20 minutes.

Cook spaghetti in abundant boiling water (add salt to the water) till done. Also add may be a 1 tbsp of oil into the boiling water. Drain the pasta, drizzle some olive oil into the spaghetti.

Pour a generous serving of the meatball sauce over the spaghetti, sprinkle rosemary and grate some Parmesan.


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