It’s true what they say that the simplest things are the best. We totally agree, especially when it comes to comforting bowl of meatballs in tomato sauce with spaghetti…We found this recipe in latest Donna hay magazine. Sauce was this time store-bought but I promise myself to prepare real homemade one when tomatoes are in season, this summer. Actually all you need to make it (apart from good quality tomatoes) is oregano, salt and pepper, than it can be stored in jars for up to a year, and used whenever you feel like it: for quick pizzas, pastas or simply with fresh ciabatta…

In original recipe meatballs were pan fried, but I prefer to prepare them in the oven, just remember to shake few times roasting tin, so they do not stick together. The final result was great, very moist and delicious, simple yummy! And the blend of spices: anisic flavour of fennel seeds, citrus aroma of lemon zest, you get extra kick of chilli flakes and last but not least beautiful fresh aroma of thyme...Oh and we are polish so we had to add vodka to the recipe - I believe it makes the meatballs moist :)

So to finish it off I had to post below short piece of Disney classic. Who remembers Lady and the tramp movie? For me it’s the most romantic and delicious Disney scene of all times…Until next time!

Pork and fennel meatballs with spaghetti

Serves 4-5:

  • 1kg minced pork
  • 2 jars tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 600g spaghetti
  • 70g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 60ml milk
  • 60ml vodka
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dry chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 40g finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • finely grated parmesan, to serve
  • salt, cracked black pepper

Place the breadcrumbs, milk and vodka in a large bowl and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Place the salt, fennel and chilli in a mortar and pestle and grind to combine. Add the salt mixture to the breadcrumbs with the pork, lemon rind, egg yolk, parmesan, thyme, garlic and pepper and mix for 2, 3 minutes or until the mixture comes together. Roll tablespoonful of the mixture into balls (make sure each weight 25g). On a large baking tray, place baking paper and cover with some olive oil. Place meatballs in the oven and bake in 175°C for 30-35 minutes, occasionally shaking the tray so they do not stick together. 

In the meantime add tomato sauce to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until al dente. Drain and place on a dish. Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir gently to combine, season with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the meatballs and sauce and sprinkle with parmesan to serve.