I’m calling it: these meatballs are the bomb! Packed full of flavour, yet still so soft and tender, they’re the perfect companion to my epic tomato sauce and a bowl of freshly cooked spaghetti. All together now… yum!
500g (1.1 lb) dried spaghetti
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve
Miso tomato sauce:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 x 400g/14 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp miso paste
1 bay leaf
2 star anise
1 dried chilli
3 tbsp soy sauce
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp milk
100g (3.5 oz) ricotta
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
500g (1.1 lb) beef mince
200g (7 oz) pork mince
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tsp sea salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
For the miso tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Then add the whole peeled tomatoes, including the juices. Break up the tomatoes a little with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste, miso paste, bay leaf, star anise, dried chilli and soy sauce. Mix, then simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes, stirring every so often (if the sauce starts to thicken too much, add a little water).
For the meatballs, combine the panko breadcrumbs with the milk. Set aside for 2-3 minutes.
In the meantime, line a baking tray with baking paper. Place all the other meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Then add the softened breadcrumbs. Mix until well combined. Form into meatballs a little larger than a golf ball. Place the meatballs onto the lined tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
When the tomato sauce is done simmering, remove the star anise, bay leaf and dried chilli.
Place the meatballs into a large, deep frying pan. Pour over the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted boiling water. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add 3-4 large spoonfuls of the tomato sauce. Add a quarter cup of the pasta cooking liquid and drizzle with olive oil. Mix over a medium-high heat until thick and glossy (add more pasta cooking water if the sauce looks too dry). Divide among serving bowls and top with the remaining tomato sauce and meatballs.
Drizzle with more olive oil and top with parmesan chees