Melting Meatballs Macaroni

Meatball MacaroniThis Melting Meatballs Macaroni is from October’s BBC Good Food Magazine and was so delicious. There are 3 separate components though, the sauce, the meatballs and the pasta that all need to be cooked separately, for different times and then combined at the same time. Don’t worry about getting them all done at the same time. The sauce and meatballs can wait for a while once they are done. Pasta should never really wait once it’s cooked so as long as you make sure the sauce and meat are cooked before the pasta, it will be fine. In fact, the sauce and meat could even be made ahead of time if you like. I always prefer doing as much as I can ahead of time. that is if I have time to do it and as long as the food won’t suffer. It really makes serving up a lot easier especially if you’re having friends over. You want to be able to converse with them as well as serving them up something nice.

I guess the only thing that I would warn about is making sure that the minced meat is properly sealed around the cheese. Some of mine leaked out of the and it really made a difference.

Melting Meatball Macaroni

Ingredients

  • 300g pork mince
  • 400g beef mince (about 10% fat)
  • half a tsp of chilli flakes
  • half a tsp of fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 200g taleggio or mozzarella
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp of tomato puree
  • 2 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml of tomato passata
  • 50ml red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 400g dried short pasta, macaroni, penne, rigatoni

Instructions

  1. Add the pork, beef, chilli flakes, fennel seeds, 1 tsp of oregano and 1 tbsp of salt to a large mixing bowl and mix everything together with your hands until evenly combined but don't over-mix.
  2. Divide the mixture into 18-20 balls, wrapping them around a nugget of cheese. Place them on a baking tray lined with tin foil and chill in the fridge.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  4. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large, ovenproof pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Stir and cook for 8 minutes over a medium-high heat.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before you add the tomato puree, tomatoes, passata, red wine, bay leaves, sugar, 1 tbsp salt and tsp oregano. Mix it all together, turn the heat down to medium, clamp the lid on and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Then bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
  7. Remove the tray of meatballs from the fridge and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. When everything is cooked, add the drained pasta to the sauce and stir. Add the cheesy tray juices from the meatballs and mix those in. Then nestle the meatballs into the pasta so they are poking out.
  9. Scatter over the remaining cheese and transfer the pot to under a medium-high grill and cook for 5-10 minutes until the cheese and meatballs are nice and golden.
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