Spaghetti and black pudding meatballs
Richer, darker and, dare I say it, more interesting than your standard meatball, these go down very well on a winter’s evening with a hearty glass of southern Italian red (the guardian 2016).
Author: Felicity Cloake
- Serves 4
- 6 tbsp milk
- 1 thick slice of wholemeal bread –the darker the better – crusts removed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 300g black pudding, skin removed and crumbled
- 200g minced beef
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp currants
- 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- Good grating of nutmeg
- Olive oil, to fry
- For the sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 800g good, tinned plum tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- Dash of red wine vinegar
- 3 stems of fresh basil
- Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
- 400g spaghetti or linguine
- To make the sauce, gently fry the onion in the oil until soft and golden, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Mash in the tomatoes, then add the sugar, vinegar and stems of the basil, reserving the leaves, and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat and cook for about 45 minutes until thick, then season to taste.
- Meanwhile, soak the bread in the milk for about 10 minutes. Fry the onion in a little oil until beginning to caramelise, and add to a large bowl with all the other ingredients. Season well, and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
- Mash the bread into a milky paste then add it to meatball mixture and mix in well. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and fry 1tsp of the mixture until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly, and then taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Shape the mixture into small balls add another 2 tbsp olive oil to the pan, and fry the meatballs in batches until nicely caramelised all over, then turn down the heat and fry more gently until cooked through. Keep warm.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and toss together with the sauce and a splash of oil until well combined, then add the meatballs. Divide between bowls and top with the basil leaves.