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Spicy Meatballs with Herb Ragu


Having come home quite late from work, I had to knock up a quick and easy dinner.

You know when you have one of those days, and not just any food will do. It had to be comfort food - is there anything more comforting than Spicy Meatballs?

These meatballs pack a punch of flavour and chilli heat. The herby ragu is the perfect compliment.

I skipped adding tomato puree - as I did not want to wait for it to cook through. By all means add the puree and turbo charge the tomato flavour!

I had the rest for lunch the next day, and it was delicious!

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Another shot


Ingredients

for the Spicy Meatballs : [serves 3]
400 g beef mince
1/2 white onion, very finely diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
100 g dried bread crumbs
1 tsp dried garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
3-4 medium hot chillies, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
handful of parsley, chopped
good pinch of pepper
pinch of salt

for the Herby Ragu : [serves 3]
3 cloves of garlic
175 ml of water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, finely diced
1 tin cherry tomatoes
handful of oregano, chopped
handful of basil, chopped

Method

for the Spicy Meatballs :
1) Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.
2) Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl.
3) Mix in the diced onion, chilies and parsley.
4) Add the minced meat and combine thoroughly with your hands.
5) Divide the mixture into 12 balls.
6) Place on a baking tray.
7) Cook for 15 minutes, before removing from the oven and turning over.
8) Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until brown/
9) Serve on top of the ragu.

for the Herby Ragu :

1) Place a medium saucepan on a moderate heat, and add the oil.
2) Sauté the garlic bulbs until golden, turn frequently to avoid burning. Once golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and discard.
3) Add the diced onion and sauté gently until translucent.
4) Add the tomatoes and the water and gently simmer for 20 minutes on a low to medium heat.
5) Once reduced, turn off the heat until ready to serve.
6) Prepare the pasta following the packet instructions. When ready to serve, reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking water.
6) When ready to serve, warm gently, add the herbs and stir gently for a minute.
7) Add to the pasta and reserved water and gently warm for a further minute or two, until thickened.
8) Serve with the meatballs on top. Garnish with chopped herbs and grated Parmesan cheese.

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Peal the garlic

Peel the garlic

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Brown off the garlic

Gently brown off the garlic in warm olive oil

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Garlic golden

Garlic browned, now remove with a slotted spoon

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Dice the onion

Dice the onion

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Saute the onion

Sauté the onion in the olive oil till translucent

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Add the tomatoes

Add the tomatoes

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Add the meatball ingredients

Combine the dry meatball ingredients

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Chop the parsley

Parsley fresh from the garden

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Dice the chillies

Home grown chillies removed to thaw from the freezer

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Chillies diced

Dice the chillies

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Combine the ingredients

Combine all the ingredients

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Add the minced beef and combine

Add the minced beef and combine with your hands

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Mixed thoroughly

Meatball mix ready

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Divide into twelve

Make the meatballs

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Chop the herbs

Fresh herbs for the ragu

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Herbs chopped

Chop the herbs roughly

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Add the herbs

Add the herbs to the ragu when the meatballs are almost ready

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Make the pasta

Make the pasta following the packet instructions

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Turn the meatballs

Turn the meatballs half way through

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Drain the pasta reserving 2 tbsp

Drain the pasta, reserving a tablespoon or two of water

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Add the Ragu

Add the ragu and mix well

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Gently warm through

Gently warm through, until the ragu has thickened

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Plate up the ragu

Plate up the ragu

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Remove the meatballs

Remove the meatballs from the oven

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Close Up

Grate some parmesan and garnish with chopped herbs

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Another shot

Serve immediately



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