500 gm dried spaghettiSalsa al pomodoro80 ml(1/3 cup) olive oil1garlic clove, finely chopped½ tspdried chilli flakes 1.5 litres(6 cups) tomato passata200 mlchicken stock10basil leaves, torn1 tspdried oregano80 ml(1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oilPolpette1½ slicescrustless white Italian bread (about 80gm), coarsely torn100 mlmilk2 tbspolive oil½onion, finely chopped1garlic clove, finely chopped3 slicesmild pancetta, coarsely chopped1anchovy fillet, finely chopped1rosemary sprig75 mldry white wine150 gm eachminced pork, minced veal and minced chicken thigh1½ cups(loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley25 gm eachfinely grated parmesan and pecorino, plus extra to serve½ tspfinely grated nutmeg
For salsa al pomodoro, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and chilli, cook until garlic starts to colour (1-2 minutes). Add passata, stock and basil, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, add oregano, simmer until thick (45 minutes-1 hour). Remove from heat, add extra-virgin olive oil and season to taste.
For polpette, combine bread and milk in a bowl, set aside until bread softens (5 minutes). Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over low heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (7-10 minutes). Add pancetta, anchovy and rosemary, cook until anchovy dissolves and pancetta is tender (8-10 minutes). Deglaze with wine, cook until liquid evaporates (3-5 minutes), set aside to cool in a large bowl (discard rosemary sprig). Squeeze excess milk from bread (discard milk), add to onion mixture with pork, veal, chicken, parsley, cheeses and nutmeg, stir to combine, season to taste and roll into walnut-sized balls. Cover and refrigerate until required.
Preheat oven to 160C. Place polpette in a baking dish to fit snugly. Pour over salsa al pomodoro, cover with foil, bake until polpette are cooked through (35-45 minutes).
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain, toss through polpette and sauce, season to taste and serve hot with grated parmesan and pecorino.
"Most Italian families have their own special recipe for
polpette di carne - meatballs - and salsa al pomodoro, a basic
tomato sauce. Over the years these recipes have merged to become
part of a priceless Sunday gathering of families."
At A Glance
Serves 6 people
At A Glance
Serves 6 people
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