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The Hairy Bikers' spaghetti and meatballs

The Hairy Bikers / 15 October 2021

The Hairy Bikers share their recipe for classic spaghetti, tomato sauce and pork meatballs.

Spaghetti meatballs by The Hairy Bikers
Spaghetti meatballs by The Hairy Bikers

Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

25 minutes

Serves

4

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes or 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 100ml white wine
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • Handful of basil, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For the meatballs

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 500g pork mince
  • 25g pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • Handful of basil, finely chopped
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg

To Serve

  • 500g spaghetti
  • Basil leaves, to garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

Who doesn’t love spaghetti, tomato sauce and meatballs? We’ve worked hard to make sure our balls pack a punch and you’re going to love the wine-infused tomato sauce. It’s well worth making this with fresh tomatoes if you can.

First get the tomato sauce started. If using fresh tomatoes, peel them. To do this, core and score a cross on the base of each tomato, then plunge it into boiling water for a count of 10 (less ripe tomatoes may need a little longer). Roughly chop Them or put them in a food processor and pulse. Do not strain - there’s a lot of flavour in the liquid/jelly around the seeds.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté, stirring regularly, until it’s very soft and translucent. Add the garlic to the onion and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the oregano and white wine. Allow the wine to reduce by half, then add the tomatoes (fresh or canned) and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer for half an hour. Uncover and taste. If the sauce is too acidic, add a generous pinch of sugar. Continue to simmer gently until the sauce is well reduced. Add the basil towards the end of this simmering time.

While the sauce is simmering, make the meatballs. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking sparchment. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Sauté over a low heat until soft and translucent, add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Take the pan off the heat and then add the oregano, lemon zest and chilli flakes, if using. Season well.

Put the pork mince into a bowl and add the contents of the frying pan along with the remaining ingredients. Add more seasoning and mix thoroughly until quite stiff. Divide into 20 balls and place them on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until browned and just cooked through. Add the meatballs to the sauce and let them simmer for a few minutes.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of water, according to the packet instructions. Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti and garnish with basil. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan.

The Hairy Bikers Everyday Winners

The Hairy Bikers’ Everyday Winners by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials in hardback at £22, photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins

Try more recipes from The Hairy Bikers, including Cumberland sausage pie, corned beef Lancashire hotpot and vegetable enchiladas.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.