There are some dishes that just make you smile when you eat them, for me one of those dishes is definitely spaghetti and meatballs!

The best thing about this dish is that it is actually very easy to make and you can easily put your own spin on it by adding ingredients for your own taste. This is my basic recipe and method which I use for meatballs:

For the meatballs:

  • Approx 250g steak mince
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried parsley

For the sauce

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 carton passata (500g)
  • 250ml beef stock

Start by making the meatballs, you’ll want to prepare these at least 30 minutes before you want to cook as the meatballs are best going in the fridge to firm up.

Cook the chopped onion in a pan for 5 minutes on a medium heat and then add the chopped garlic to the pan, cook together for a further 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Transfer this to a bowl and leave to cool.

Once the onion mix is cool add your egg to the bowl and whisk slightly, add in your parsley as well as seasoning. Add your mince to the bowl and mix everything together. At this point you’ll need to add as many breadcrumbs as you think you need, you want the mixture to lose the wet, sloppy feel. When you start adding the breadcrumbs you’ll notice the mixture will come together and be a consistency that will make it easy to mould into the meatballs, when you’re at this stage you’ve added enough breadcrumbs.

Take portions of the meat mixture and roll into meatballs, I tend to make mine the size of a ping pong ball. Spread the meatballs out on a tray and add to the fridge to chill.

When you are ready cook use a large pan over a medium heat and brown the meatballs, you’ll want all your meatballs on one layer and not on top of each other in the pan. My pan isn’t big enough for this so I cook them in two batches. Make sure the meatballs are browned all over and then remove from the pan and leave to one side while you make the sauce.

I use the same pan so there should be enough juices left in the pan for you to cook the onion in without adding more oil. Cook the onion for about 10 minutes so that it softens, then add the garlic to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the splash of Worcestershire sauce, this is my secret ingredient for rich tomato sauces as it adds a really nice depth to the flavour. Add the passata, plum tomatoes and beef stock to the pan, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of your spoon. Leave this to simmer for about 3o minutes, you’ll want the sauce to thicken up.

After 30 minutes, or longer if your sauce is quite there yet, add the meatballs back to the pan and cook your spaghetti.

Once your spaghetti is coked, you’re ready to serve, pile your plate high and enjoy with a smile on your face!

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