Delicious Italian beef and pork meatballs cooked in a sweet tomato sauce, served with spaghetti drizzled in good quality olive oil and garnished with parmesan and fresh basil. These meatballs can be made in advance, I quite often make a double batch and freeze half for a quick weeknight meal. 

ITALIAN MEATBALLS WITH A RICH TOMATO SAUCE AND SPAGHETTI 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

MEATBALLS
180 grams pork mince
230 grams beef mince
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 tablespoons milk
2 slices of sourdough or ciabatta, crusts removed
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for frying

TOMATO SAUCE
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cans of whole tinned tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with spaghetti drizzled in good quality olive oil and garnish with parmesan, basil, salt and pepper.
 

METHOD

TOMATO SAUCE
In a heavy based pot, fry the onions, garlic, thyme, oregano and brown sugar over a low/medium heat until onions have caramelised. This should take 10 or so minutes. 

Add the tinned tomatoes, red wine, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes. 

Using either a hand blender or regular blender, blitz tomato sauce until smooth. Pour into a casserole dish. 

MEATBALLS
Preheat oven to 170°C. 

Heat milk in a microwave safe dish in the microwave for 30 seconds. Tear up the fresh bread into small bits, add to milk and set aside. 

In another bowl, combine all remaining meatball ingredients - besides the olive oil. 

Mash the bread until it begins to fall apart. Add milk and bread to meatball mixture and mix well to combine. 

Using your hands, roll into golf ball sized balls. 

In a non-stick frypan over a medium heat, fry meatballs in batches in olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Meatballs do not need to be cooked through. 

Place meatballs in casserole dish with tomato sauce. Meatballs should be half submerged in sauce. Bake for 30 minutes until sauce has thickened and meatballs are cooked through. 

Boil spaghetti in salted water until al dents, drain then drizzle over olive oil. 

Garnish with parmesan, fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper.