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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pasta & Meatballs

This is quickly becoming a regular in our house, versatile, great for all the family, quick and easy!

Ingredients: (Feeds two adults, a toddler and a baby!)

20 x Meatballs (You can make your own but I cheat and buy ready made ones!)
300g Dried Pasta or Spaghetti (100g per adult plus extra for children)
200ml Passata (Or half a 500g carton)
1 x 400g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
1 x Large Onion
3-4 Cloves of Garlic (chopped or crushed)
1 x Pepper (preferably Yellow, Red or Orange as they are sweeter)
1 x Beef Stock Cube
1 Teaspoon Basil
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Mint
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary
3 Teaspoons Tomato Puree
Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Note: If you only have mixed herbs and garlic that's fine, just add 2 Teaspoons of Mixed Herbs and the garlic. If you want to make this for 4 adults, double the amount of meatballs but keep the other quantities the same as there is a lot of sauce with this recipe. You can also add a small amount of gravy instead of the beef stock cube if you don't have any. If you find tomato based sauces too acidic, add a little sugar (to taste) to counteract this. I don't cook with salt so that it is suitable for our daughters - I add salt and pepper to taste once it is served up.

Method:
  1. Fry the meatballs in a wok, large saucepan or frying pan, in a little olive oil, all the dried herbs and the garlic. Meanwhile boil the water for the pasta.
  2. Once browned well all over, drain off any excess oil or fat from the meatballs, then add the chopped pepper and onion.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, passata, tomato puree, beef stock cube and ground pepper to taste.
  4. By this time the water for the pasta should have boiled. Add the pasta and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked retaining a little "bite" (i.e. not soft and soggy!). Cover and simmer the meatballs and sauce whilst the pasta is cooking.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, pour boiling water over it to rinse off the starch and drain again.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Tip: Top with a little grated cheese and serve with garlic bread for the ultimate Pasta and Meatballs combo!

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