Thursday, 1 March 2012

My Ridiculously Easy, Emergency Version of Spaghetti with Italian Meatballs

Every now and again, you need a super quick, no-fuss, saviour recipe which will save you having to buy a take-away. And here it is:

I have just discovered (completely by accident) the best and easiest way to cook meatballs. I couldn't be bothered to make a sauce and I doubly couldn't be bothered to make meatballs, but Mrs Ribeye was on her way home from work and I had to think - and work - quick. Just add dry flavourings to ground beef, add no flavourings to a carton of passata, and hey presto - dinner in minutes.

This recipe shouldn't theoretically be any good - but it's a revelation. Try it. It's amazing. No fresh herbs, no fresh vegetables and no intricate sauce ingredients - the flavours from the meatballs leach into the sauce, creating a fabulous flavour.

If people are coming over in an hour, and I haven't started cooking - and I'm in dire need of a shower (as always) - I just whack everything on to cook, go about my ablutions and when I get dressed, I just put the pasta on to boil, ready for the meatballs.What could be easier?

Do it my way and this is the cheapest (and most delicious) version of the old Italian favourite EVER. £1.50 per serving. Bellissimo!

Serves 4

Super-Quick Italian Meatballs


750g ground beef
50g breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon dried mixed Italian herbs
Pinches of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon each of garlic granules, onion granules and dried chilli flakes
1 egg

Mix everything together and form into golfball-sized meatballs. Plop into the tomato sauce to cook (1 hour approx). Serve with the tomato sauce and spaghetti.

Here is a picture of the meatballs before I cooked them in the tomato sauce:


Super-Quick Tomato Sauce


750ml passata (sieved Italian tomatoes)
500ml water
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Pinches of salt and pepper

500g cooked spaghetti to serve

In a saucepan on a moderate heat, place all of the ingredients. Add the meatballs and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally until cooked, and the water has evaporated, leaving a thick, unctuous sauce. Serve with the spaghetti.

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