As the months get cooler there really is nothing better than a hearty pasta dish to warm up! These meatballs and juicy and moist and of course are made with our grass-fed beef. An Ottelenghi recipe that we promise will stay on your meal rotations.
First, make the tomato sauce. Heat half the oil in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid. Add half the onion, half the garlic and all of the carrots, celery and oregano sprigs. Place on a medium-high heat and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring a few times, until the vegetables have softened without taking on any colour. If need be, put the lid on the pan, to help prevent the onions from catching and burning. Add the tomatoes, sugar, half the stock, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time, to give the sauce a chance to thicken gradually.
Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Put the remaining onion and garlic in a large bowl with the beef, fresh breadcrumbs, cheeses, egg, oregano leaves, parsley, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Mix together with your hands, then shape into 12-14 balls weighing about 70g each.
Heat a tablespoon and a half of olive oil in a large frying pan and, when hot, add the meatballs. Sear for two minutes on each side. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to do this in two batches, adding the remaining tablespoon of oil before cooking the second batch.)
Remove the whole oregano sprigs from the tomato sauce, then gently press the seared meatballs into the sauce. Pour over the remaining stock, or just enough almost to cover the meatballs; top up with a little water, if need be. Cover the pan and cook on a very gentle simmer for 30 minutes. If the sauce needs to thicken more after this time – you want a thick, pasta sauce-like consistency – remove the lid and increase the temperature a little so everything bubbles away. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.
5 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
2 large stalks celery, cut into 1cm dice
8 whole sprigs fresh oregano, plus 10g chopped oregano leaves
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
500ml chicken stock
Salt and black pepper
500g Freshwater Creek farm-fresh minced beef
100g freshly made breadcrumbs
60g grated parmesan
20g chopped parsley