Dinner - Spicy Pork Meatballs in Brothy Tomatoes and Toasted Fennel recipes

Author: Linda Stonestreet  

Carbohydrate avoidance be damned: pasta with meatballs is the perfect culinary counter to the cruel world. But for me, what really sets these meatballs apart is that they go the fresh-tomato route rather than the tinned-tomato route, which I suppose makes them more a late-summer meatball rather than a wintry meatball.

Meatballs with Orzo

Meatballs with Orzo
Orzo pasta is a non-negotiable staple in my kitchen. Simply dressed in butter and salt, and maybe a dusting of nutmeg or grated Parmesan, or indeed both, it often serves at my table as a substitute for rice or potatoes, and I regularly use it to cook what in Italian is pasta risottata, a kind of pasta risotto. It makes for wonderful, cosy one-pot dishes, of which this is a pre-eminent example. For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.
Provided by: Nigella
Yields: 6 servings
Number of ingredients: 16
Ingredients:
  • 500 grams minced beef
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley leaves (plus more to serve)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons finely grated Parmesan (plus more to serve)
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 litre cold water
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 1 (approx 150g) onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons red vermouth
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 275 grams orzo pasta
How to cook:
  1. Line a large baking sheet with cling film, then put all the ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl and mix together, gently, with your hands. Don’t overmix, as it will make the meatballs dense-textured and heavy.
  2. Pinch out pieces of this mixture and roll between the palms of your hand to form meatballs that are somewhere between a cherry tomato and a walnut in size, putting them on your lined tray as you go. You should get about 30 meatballs.
  3. Fill a measuring jug with 1 litre of cold water and put near the hob.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole or pan that comes with a lid and is large enough to take the meatballs and pasta, too. Cook the chopped onion over a medium heat, stirring every now and again, for about 10 minutes, or until completely softened, then stir in the parsley and oregano and cook, stirring for a minute or so before adding the vermouth. Let this bubble up for a minute and then tip in the tomatoes. Half-fill the empty tins with water from the jug you have at the ready, give them a good swill, and pour into the pan, along with the rest of the water and the salt. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down, clamp on the lid and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pan and drop the meatballs gently into the simmering sauce. I try to let these fall in concentric circles, working around the pan from the outside edge inwards, but this is more habit than necessity. Bring it back up to the boil, then turn the heat down again, put the lid back on and simmer the meatballs for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, tip in the orzo, stir gently and turn up the heat to bring back to a bubble. Cook at a robust simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked. You will have to give the odd gentle stir throughout this time to make sure the orzo isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkled with parsley, and with Parmesan on the table alongside.
Notes: Nigella Lawson Meatballs In Tomato Sauce Recipes, DICED TOMATOES – COOKING WITH NIGELLA For the sauce: 1 onion, peeled 1 celery stalk 2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil 1 tsp. dried thyme 2 x 14 oz. tins diced

Nigella Lawson's Homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs

Nigella shows us how to make her rainy day favourite, homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Duration: 9:18

Spicy Pork Meatballs in Brothy Tomatoes and Toasted Fennel

Spicy Pork Meatballs in Brothy Tomatoes and Toasted Fennel
Historically speaking, I have a bad attitude about meatballs. (I don’t love minced meat, and also I once was dumped the morning after a meatball-forward meal, and, yes, I blame the meatballs.) But I will say that I am coming around. After all, meatballs are undeniably excellent for serving large amounts of people, and here we have crispy, garlicky pork in a delicious, garlicky, tomato-y sauce. What’s not to love? I will give you a heads-up here: while one is not better than the other, these are less red-sauce Italian and more Isle of Capri Italian (do they even have meatballs there? I’m not sure). They simmer in a light, brothy tomato sauce flecked with toasted spices and lots and lots of garlic, then are finished with fresh herbs, salty cheese, and an ocean of olive oil, if you’re doing it right. Bound by yoghurt with no breadcrumbs or egg in sight, the meatballs are light, springy, and accidentally gluten-free, which is great – especially if you’re gluten-free, I imagine. But for me, what really sets these meatballs apart is that they go the fresh-tomato route rather than the tinned-tomato route, which I suppose makes them more a late-summer meatball rather than a wintry meatball. If you can get really ripe golden cherry tomatoes for this dish, they will light up your life and make this a pot of sunshine that you cannot help but dip some very toasty bread into, so as not to waste any of the delicious, porky sauciness. For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.
Provided by: Alison Roman
Yields: 6 servings
Number of ingredients: 17
Ingredients:
  • 6 cloves garlic (2 grated, the rest thinly sliced)
  • 1 handful finely chopped chives
  • 1 handful finely chopped fresh parsley (tender leaves and stems) - plus extra to garnish
  • 125 grams full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds - plus extra to garnish
  • 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes - plus extra for serving
  • 750 grams minced pork or lamb or beef or turkey - or feel free to mix
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil - plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 750 grams golden or red cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 60 millilitres distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 large handful mint leaves
  • a hunk of pecorino cheese or parmesan cheese (for grating)
  • toast or crusty bread (to serve)
How to cook:
  1. Place the grated garlic in a medium bowl along with the chives, parsley, yoghurt, fennel seeds, paprika, salt and chilli flakes. Mix until well combined.
  2. Add the meat and season with pepper. Using your hands, mix until well combined. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a plum; I like these meatballs on the smaller side. Place on a baking tray or large plate.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over medium–high heat. Add a few meatballs at a time, taking care not to crowd the pot. Cook, using tongs or a spatula to occasionally gently rotate them, until they are all golden brown all over, 8–10 minutes; they may not hold their perfectly round shape, but that is more than okay. As the meatballs are browned, transfer them to a large serving platter or plate. Leave the remaining bits and fat in the pot.
  4. Add the shallot and sliced garlic to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is tender and the garlic starts to brown a bit, 2–3 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they burst and become all saucy and caramelise a bit on the bottom of the pot, 5–8 minutes. Add the vinegar and 750 ml (25 fl oz/3 cups) water, scraping up any bits along the bottom. Bring to a strong simmer and reduce the sauce by about one-quarter, just until it thickens slightly, 5–7 minutes; it should still be relatively brothy.
  6. Return the meatballs to the pot and reduce the heat to medium–low. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and all the flavours have melded, 10–15 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat. To serve, top the meatballs (either in individual bowls or right in the pot) with the mint, and more chilli flakes and fennel seeds, if you like. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the cheese for grating, and toast for dipping.
Notes: Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, directions · Puree onion and celery to mush in food processor. · Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. · Add tomatoes, water, sugar, salt

Pasta With Meatballs

Carbohydrate avoidance be damned: pasta with meatballs is the perfect culinary counter to the cruel world. Just looking at a slippery, tomato-sauced tangle of spaghetti topped with juicy toothsome meatballs makes you feel better; eating it is the instant antidote to whatever ails you. The recipe here makes more sauce, perhaps, than you'd normally want to use to dress a pound of pasta, but when I sit down to eat with the children I want to make sure I'm not going to have to get up and make them anything else to eat before they go to bed. (Of course you can freeze a portion of little meatballs in sauce for easy access in meals ahead. They need not accompany a bowl of pasta. My children like them just as much with a mound of plain white rice. Who wouldn't?)
Provided by: Nigella Lawson
Total time: 60 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Cuisine: italian
Number of ingredients: 19
Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs or semolina
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups tomato passata (available at specialty food stores) or pureed canned tomatoes (not canned tomato puree, which is thicker)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound spaghetti, tagliatelle or linguine, cooked to taste
Nutrition:
  • Calories: 897 calories
  • Unsaturated Fat: 18 grams
  • Carbohydrate: 100 grams
  • Fat: 36 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Protein: 42 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 14 grams
  • Sodium: 1036 milligrams
  • Sugar: 9 grams
  • Trans Fat: 1 gram
How to cook:
  1. Prepare meatballs: In a large bowl, combine pork, beef, egg, Parmesan, garlic, oregano, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly but lightly, handling mixture as little as possible.
  2. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of meat mixture into balls 1 inch in diameter, and place on plastic. Refrigerate while making sauce.
  3. Prepare sauce: Combine onion, garlic and oregano in a food processor, and puree until smooth. Combine butter and oil in a wide, deep pan, and place over low heat until butter melts. Add onion-garlic mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes; do not brown. Add passata and 2 cups water to pan. Season with sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add milk and bring sauce back to a simmer. Gently drop in meatballs one by one so that they do not break (make sure the meatballs are submerged); do not stir pan. Cover pan partially with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasonings to taste. Place hot pasta in a large serving bowl. Pour most of sauce (reserving meatballs) on pasta, and toss to combine. Top pasta with meatballs, and serve.
Notes: Nigella's Utterly Delicious Meatballs, INGREDIENTS Serves: 6 FOR THE MEATBALLS 250 grams minced pork 250 grams minced beef1 large egg2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan1 clove garlic

Shortcut Sausage Meatballs

There is always great jubilation in my house when meatballs are on the menu, and with this recipe it is easy to rustle them up in minutes. Instead of making up a meatball mixture with ground meat or meats, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, and egg, I simply squeeze the stuffing out of about a pound of Italian sausages and roll it into cherry-tomato-sized balls. It's not so much that the making process is simplified, it's that this recipe is easier on the shopping and fridge-stocking front. I'm not sure that, now, my children don't prefer this version.
Provided by: Nigella Lawson : Cooking Channel
Total time: 65 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Cuisine: italian
Number of ingredients: 9
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausages
  • 2 tablespoons garlic-flavored oil
  • 4 fat or 6 spindly scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
  • Two 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes, plus water to rinse 1/2 can
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to serve (optional)
How to cook:
  1. Squeeze the sausage meat from the sausages and roll small cherry-tomato-sized meatballs out of it, putting them onto a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet as you go. Your final tally should be around 40.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan or flameproof Dutch oven and add the meatballs, frying them until golden; as they become firmer, nudge them up in the pan to make room for the rest, if you can't fit them all in at first.
  3. When all the meatballs are in the pan and browned, add the scallions and oregano and stir about gently.
  4. Add the wine or vermouth and diced tomatoes, then fill half of one of the empty cans with cold water and tip it into the other empty can, then into the pan. The can-to-can technique is just my way of making sure you rinse out as much of the tomato residue as possible.
  5. Put in the bay leaves and let the pan come to a fast simmer. Let cook like this, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the meatballs are cooked through. Check the sauce for seasoning, adding some salt and pepper, if you like.
  6. During this time you can cook whatever you fancy to go with the meatballs, whether it be pasta, rice, whatever.
  7. Once the meatballs are ready, you can eat them immediately or let them stand, off the heat but still on the stove, for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken up a bit on standing. Should your diners be other than children who balk at green bits, sprinkle with parsley on serving.
Notes: Meatballs | Nigella's Recipes, For the Tomato Sauce · 1 onion · 2 cloves garlic · 1 teaspoon dried oregano · 1 tablespoon unsalted butter · 1 tablespoon olive oil (not extra-virgin) · 700 grams
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