Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spicy Pork Meatballs with Spaghetti

Pasta is one of those dishes that even the fussiest of eaters will enjoy... ultimately pasta is a comfort food for many.  In our house it is definitely held in high regard when you just want to eat something for the soul and to make you feel better about everything.

Today, with having a full day of football ahead, I knew that we need a quick easy dinner that when we got home from football.  Knowing all I had to do was to make the tomato sauce and cooked pasta, this ensured that we had an hearty Sunday night dinner but I wasn't spending all evening in the kitchen.  While I made this recipe today in halves - in total it would take less than 45 minutes to take this dish from kitchen to table so it would be a perfect weeknight wonder also.

I quickly made some yummy bite size meatballs, pork laced with thyme, chilli and as usual, hidden vegetables.  These were baked in the other rather than fried in an effort to reduce the fat content of adding extra oil.    The meatballs themselves, can be cooked at an earlier date, cooled and frozen in preparation for this dish or another.

The tomato sauce, in this instance, was a very easy mix very similar to a Marinara Sauce.  Tomatoes, simmered with onions until thickened laced with a little sweetness to compliment the herbs and spices in the meatballs.

Serve with a pasta of your choice.  In our house it's Meatballs with Spaghetti - just like in that memorable Disney movie Lady and the Tramp.  Whichever pasta you choose I am sure this will become a favourite on your menu.

Spicy Pork Meatballs with Spaghetti

Serves: 8

cooking spray
1 kilogram lean minced pork
2 onions, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 zucchini, grated
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed chilli or sambal oelek
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 brown onion, finely diced, additional
2 cans diced tomatoes 
2 cup water
1 tablespoon white sugar
freshly ground black pepper
spaghetti or pasta of your choice
grated Parmesan Cheese, for serving
dried chilli flakes, optional

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.  Spray with cooking spray.

Place pork, onions, carrots, zucchini, garlic, chilli paste, tomato paste, pepper, thyme, parsley and paprika in a very large bowl.  Mix, using your hands, until well combined.  Shape pork mixture into 48 evenly sized meatballs.  

Place meatballs on a baking tray in a single layer.  Bake in oven for 30 or until browned, turning several times during cooking.

Meanwhile spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add tomatoes, water and sugar. Season with salt black pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring, reduce heat to a simmer.

Remove meatballs from oven and add to the tomato mixture carefully.  Stir gently to mix through and simmer until thickened and liquid has slightly reduced, stirring occasionally.

While sauce is simmering, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook spaghetti or pasta as per the directions on the packet.  Drain.

Serve spaghetti or pasta topped with the meatballs and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and additional chilli flakes, if desired.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)