Ah, meatballs. Tasty, meaty balls of joy, smothered in your favourite sauce. You can make meatballs from any kind of mince, but we love this recipe from Michele Curtis which uses chicken mince.
olive oil, for cooking
2 onions, diced
2 thick slices pancetta, diced
500g minced chicken
40g freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra, to serve
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
100g dry breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
250ml chicken stock
250ml tomato purée
400g spaghetti or linguine
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a small frying pan over medium–high heat. Add a splash of oil and half of the onion and cook for 3–4 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until fragrant, stirring often.
2. Tip the mixture into a bowl and add the chicken, parmesan, nutmeg, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix together well, then roll into small meatballs. Pan-fry the meatballs in the same frying pan in a little oil for 5–6 minutes, turning every 2 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a deep baking dish.
3. Add the remaining diced onion, with a little oil, to the frying pan and cook until soft. Add the garlic, stock and tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Pour the tomato mixture over the meatballs, cover the baking dish with foil and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
4. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Add a good pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir until the water has returned to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook the pasta at a fast simmer for 8 minutes. Drain the pasta well and toss with the sauce. Serve with the freshly grated parmesan.