I have made pasta many times and spaghetti as well but never with meatballs. This is a classic dish that I have seen on cookery shows umpteen times. Finally, I decided to make it last week. It is not difficult but definitely takes more time than rustling up a simple pasta dish. It is rich and redolent with simple flavours. Here is my recipe:
For around 25 medium sized meatballs
Chicken mince: 300 gm.
3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp olive oil
2-3 sprigs parsley (you may use rosemary as well)
a large pinch of fresh black pepper
breadcrumbs (made with 2 bread slices)
salt to taste
vegetable oil to shallow fry
For the spaghetti:
500 gm. good quality spaghetti. Cook it in lots of salted water till al dente or with a little bite. Drain and toss in a couple of tsp. of olive oil. Reserve a little of this water.
For the tomato sauce:
2 200 gm. packs of Tomato puree or you can make fresh puree as well
8-10 cherry tomatoes halved
I medium onion finely diced
3 cloves of garlic finely diced
I red chilly finely chopped
Basil leaves — a large handful
Freshly ground black pepper powder
1/2 tsp. oregano powder
some grated cheese
a pinch of sugar
salt to taste
Olive oil for cooking
To make the meatballs, mix fresh chicken mince with chopped parsley, black pepper, salt and chopped garlic. Break the egg in a bowl and beat it lightly. Now add the egg and fresh breadcrumbs to the chicken mince mix and mix well. I make breadcrumbs by throwing the bread slices in the blender for a couple of minutes. Also add the olive oil to the mix. Form meatballs of the desired size with your hands. Shallow fry the meatballs in vegetable oil till golden brown. Keep aside.
Cook your spaghetti according to instructions on the pack while you start preparing the sauce. In a saucepan, lightly saute finely chopped onion in olive oil till it turns transparent. Now add in the garlic and chilly and fry for a couple of minutes more. Pour in the tomato puree and cook for some time. This takes about 7-8 minutes. Put in the large basil leaves. Add salt, sugar and pepper along with oregano. Taste and check seasoning. Now put in the meatballs and cook it for a few minutes in the tomato sauce. Just before taking it off the heat, put in the halved cherry tomatoes and some grated cheese. I used cherry tomatoes, as I had some at hand. You may skip them. Don’t allow the sauce to become very thick. If needed add a little reserve water that you kept while cooking pasta. Put the cooked pasta back in pan and take some of the tomato sauce and mix well with pasta. Leave the rest of the sauce with meatballs to serve on top.
To serve, take your prepared spaghetti in the plate and top up with the tomato sauce and meatballs. Serve hot with a sprinkling of cheese and fresh basil leaves. It is tasty and a complete balanced meal!
Note that I prefer a bit more spice. So you may add the pepper and chilly as per the level of heat you desire. Also, you can increase the quantity of oil and deep fry your meatballs. I prefer to use a little less oil in my cooking.