Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs
For the Spicy Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 6 uncooked slices of bacon or pancetta, blitzed in a food processor or very finely chopped
- 1 medium size yellow onion, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 slice of white bread, sliced into cubes
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 whole egg
- 1-2 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (dried mixture of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory and sage)
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (Seasoned Italian or Plain)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or any store-bought parmesan cheese)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (if you prefer to use table salt, use 1/2 teaspoon or you can totally omit the salt since bacon and parmesan cheese are quite salty)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup canola oil (for pan-frying the meatballs)
For the Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (why? it mellows the acidity of the tomatoes and makes the sauce rounded and more tasty)
- 1 whole head of large garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 (14 oz) cans of diced/chopped stewed tomatoes (preferably Italian brand)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning (dried mixture of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory and sage)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons to 1 Tablespoon sugar – according to taste (to cut the acidity of the tomatoes)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Whole or chopped Basil leaves for garnish
- Extra grated Parmesan Cheese (on the side)
- 1 Lb. Spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente.
- Put ground beef and blitzed or finely chopped uncooked bacon/pancetta into a bowl.
- In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter until soft, set aside.
- Soak cubed white bread in milk until bread is mushy, set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix herbs and spices (fresh and dried) and salt and pepper.
- Into the bowl of ground beef and bacon, add milk-soaked white bread, dry breadcrumbs,sauteed garlic and onion, egg,Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce,
- grated parmesan cheese and mixture of herbs and spices.
- Mix all ingredients by hand, but don’t squish and overwork the meat mixture.
- Measure a teaspoon of meatball mixture and form into balls.
- Fry meatballs by batches so they brown evenly. Set cooked meatballs aside.
For the Sauce
- In a Dutch oven or large braiser pan over medium heat, put extra virgin olive oil, butter and minced garlic.
- Slowly and gently saute the garlic until fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook for a minute.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine and let it bubble for 10 seconds,
- then add the chicken stock, stir and simmer for a minute.
- Add the 2 cans of chopped/diced stewed tomatoes.
- Let the sauce simmer for 15 mins. then add the Italian Seasoning
- (dried herbs). Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
- Simmer sauce for 20 mins until sauce reduces into 2/3. Check for seasoning adjustments.
- And finally add the fresh chopped basil.
- Place cooked spicy meatballs in the sauce and gently stir.
- Serve meatballs sauce over cooked spaghetti pasta.
Recipe and Photo: Goddess of Scrumptiousness / CC BY-ND