If there is one thing I love in life it’s food and no food more so than Italian food. I could eat pasta everyday without fail and never get bored, and don’t even get me started on Pizza! But for me it’s not just the eating of food that makes me happy, it’s the making it as well. I don’t know why but cooking and baking just chills me out.
So this week the opportunity came for me to try something new, that could easily feed a lot of people. So I thought what better than Italian style meatballs, or polpette as they are known in Italy, in my own variation of a Marinara sauce.
Please note there are not quantities on this blog. I didn’t really measure anything out when making it, I just went on taste and what felt right lol
Any way here goes…
I started off with the sauce. In a large pan I put some olive oil (maybe a couple of table spoons) some chopped garlic and some torn up fresh basil. When the ingredients are in the pan, then I turned the heat on, NOT BEFORE! The garlic will burn if you do this. Just leave the heat low, you only want the flavors to infuse at this point.
After a couple of minutes the flavors were infused, so I added finely diced carrot and onion and stirred this in to the sauce and increased the heat to medium and covered the pan. Every 5 minutes or so I stirred again and did this for about 20 minutes. Whilst this was happening I opened two cans of plum tomatoes in sauce and put them in a dish, then using my hands I squashed the tomatoes (this was really fun lol)
The reason you use your hands is because you don’t want to break any of the seeds, otherwise they’ll had a bitter taste to you sauce. This is only way to preserve the natural sweetness. Once the onion and carrot are soft really cooked down then you can add your squashed tomatoes and one full can of water. At thi point I added up ground salt and pepper.
Finally I the heat up until I got a slight boil going and then added a lid to the sauce. I turn it back down to medium again and just let it stay warm until I needed it again. Giving all the flavors time to work together 🙂
So the mighty Polpette. This will be quick 🙂
In a bowl I put equal parts beef and pork, then next few items I added by eye where i thought it would be enough, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs (I used gluten free, but you don’t have to) and a mix of salt, pepper, dry thyme, oregano and sage. Once again I used my hands (cleaned) to mix everything up until well combined. Then I made balls just smaller than a walnut. With the amount of mixture I had i got just under 100 polpette, which I put on a lined try and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Once they’d rested in the fridge, I put a little oil in a frying pan and browned them in batches. When each batch was well brown I added them to the sauce.
So now I have a pan full of sauce and meatballs. There’s only one thing left to do. Boil the pasta! 🙂 Any pasta, although I chose spaghetti, some Italian will tell me I used the wrong type, but it’s all I had in :/
At this point turn the heat up on the sauce again, and take the lid off. This allows the sauce to thicken whilst the pasta cooks. When the pasta is ready serve 🙂
There you have it 🙂 it tasted amazing and there was plenty left to freeze. For those who are interested the total cost of the sauce and meatballs was around £12 and easily have enough for 8 people. A bargain i’d say 😉
Thanks for reading x