Polpettine alla Toscano (Tuscan Meatballs)

Spaghetti and meatballs is possibly one of the most famous dishes to come from Italy. Our version has a spicy kick to it, but you can season to your own taste.

For the sauce
450g tin of plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato passata
75ml red wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the meatballs
500g minced beef
500g minced pork
125g breadcrumbs
125g grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce
Drain the juice from the tomatoes into a bowl and roughly chop the plum tomatoes and add to the juice.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the celery and carrot. Next, add the onion and chilli if using. When the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic and lightly fry.
Stir the passata into the vegetables and allow to cook gently. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until you can no longer smell the alcohol. Season to taste then add the tin tomatoes. Allow to simmer gently.
While your sauce is simmering, boil your preferred pasta as per packet instructions.

For the meatballs
Place the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir together. Add the meat to the bowl and mix together. Once fully combined, add the egg to bind the mixture together. Roll the mixture into gold ball sized shapes.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches. Turn often so they don’t burn and remove from pan once browned.