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Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu


Having come home quite late from work, I had to knock up a quick and easy dinner. (Work seriously gets in the way of hanging out in the kitchen!)

You know when you have one of those days, and not just any food will do. It has 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 am very pleased to finally have enough herbs and chillies growing in the new house’s garden.

I had the rest for lunch the next day, and it was totally 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 : Peel 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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