Recipe Rigatoni with mini-meatballs and tomato sauce

MypinchofItaly

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Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 1 h

  • Tomato sauce: 500 g
  • Minced meat (veal or beef): 400 g
  • Rigatoni: 350 g
  • Bread: 100 g
  • Parmesan, grated: 60 g
  • Milk: 90 ml
  • Eggs: 2
  • Onions, small-sized: 1
  • Parsley, fresh: 1 sprig
  • Breadcrumbs: as needed
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): as needed
  • Basil, fresh: to taste
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
Method

Start by preparing the mini-meatballs. Finely chop the parsley and put it aside. Remove the crust from the bread and soak it in the milk for at least 5 minutes, then squeeze it in your hands to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Put in a bowl the meat, the bread, the Parmesan, the parsley, a pinch of salt and pepper and use your hands to mix all the ingredients together.

Tip: Add more Parmesan or else some breadcrumbs if the mixture is too soft, or else the mini-meatballs will not hold their shape when cooking. Don’t exaggerate, though!
Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow plate. Use the meat and bread mixture to form small meatballs with a diameter of about 2 cm and roll them in the breadcrumbs until they’re thoroughly coated.

Heat up some olive oil in a pan and deep-fry the meatballs until they take on an even golden colour. Use a skimmer to remove them from the oil and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Proceed now to preparing the tomato sauce. Cut the onion in thin slices and stir-fry it in a pan with some drops of olive oil; when the onion softens, add the tomato sauce and some basil leaves. Season it to taste and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the mini-meatballs to the sauce; cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes over low heat. If the sauce is still very liquid and hasn’t thickened, remove the lid and cook it for some minutes further.

Boil the pasta in salted water and drain it when it’s still al dente. Mix the sauce and the cooked pasta in a bowl; keep aside some of the sauce to pour over the pasta once served in each individual plate.

Serve topped with a generous handful of grated Parmesan.
 

MypinchofItaly

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Yep - its got to be mini meatballs when its with pasta - mini mouthfuls. I lke the idea of coating them in breadcrumbs.

Exactly, that’s the way we eat meatballs with pasta, they have to be mini and not the big ones.
I also like sometimes to put mini-meatballs in lasagne or baked pasta.

However, the dish “spaghetti with meatballs” is not Italian, although many people think that.
 
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