You can never have too many pasta or meat ball recipes and this one should certainly be added to the repertoire. Family friendly, can be made in advance.
I have used rigatoni pasta which is shaped like a tube and can vary in lengths and diameters.
It is usually ridged as it comes from the Italian word which means ‘ridged’.
The sauce gets trapped in the tubes and ridges. It is most common in Southern and Central Italy.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people
500g minced beef
1 onion – peeled and finely chopped
50g stoned black olives and roughly chopped -optional
50g medium matzo meal
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 red chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
2- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt and pepper – to taste
400g rigatoni pasta or use penne
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions - peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots – peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic – roughly chopped
750g tomatoes – roughly chopped or 2x 400g tin tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves – roughly chopped
2 teaspoons – caster sugar
½ red chilli – de-seeded and finely chopped – optional
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas mark 6.
To make the meat balls combine all the ingredients together.
Using wet hands, divide the mixture into small balls about the size of a walnut.
Place the meat balls on a tray lined with baking parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.
For the sauce, heat the oil, fry the onions, garlic, carrots together in a saucepan for about 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and chilli if using. Mix together, bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes until reduced and thickened.
Add the sugar, ketchup and basil and season well. Puree or liquidize the sauce and return to the saucepan. Simmer on a low light.
Remove the meat balls from the oven tray and transfer to the sauce.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan and pour over the meatballs and sauce.
To serve the stylish way: Dust the plate with smoked paprika and garnish with sprigs of basil.