About this recipe:After getting back from our Italian road trip my pasta obsession has only grown, this is the latest of one of my pasta based creations. The chorizo makes it less Italian and a little more Spanish/Mediterranean, it was a bit of a cheat as I had left over chorizo and thought it could work pretty well…and it really did. If you don’t have the chorizo you can add a dash of paprika, and a more generous helping of chilli flakes. This is the perfect dinner party dish, minimal effort required, you can even make up the sauce and meatballs the day before, they’ll only taste better for it.
Begin by making your tomato sauce, add the chopped onion, red pepper and garlic to a couple of big glugs of olive oil in a frying pan and allow to cook over a low heat around 5 minutes.
Add in your tin of cherry tomatoes, your seasoning and half of your fresh oregano and allow to cook over a medium to low heat for as long as possible – if the sauce starts to thicken up too much then add a splash of water. If you can’t find tinned cherry tomatoes you may need to add in a spoonful of sugar or balsamic to your sauce. The cherry tomatoes are much sweeter than regular tinned plum tomatoes. Ideally cook for up to 90 minutes over a low heat for a great flavour.
For the meatballs:
For the meatballs, mush up and combine all the ingredients. If you’re chopping up your onion super super fine then you don’t need to cook it prior to adding it. For less spice leave out the chilli flakes, for more, add more! Make sure that all your ingredients are chopped up as finely as possible, this way the meatballs have less chance of crumbling or breaking up.
Make sure you have a good sticky but not sloppy consistency, as the meatballs need to be able to be rolled and hold their shape. You can add more egg for more stickiness or more breadcrumbs for less.
Roll them into balls around a third of the size of a golf ball, you want them a little larger than bite size.
Once made into balls place them on a plate and let them chill in the fridge for half an hour, this will help them hold their shape.
Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
Once your meatballs have chilled, heat a small dash of olive oil in a large frying pan, once hot add in your meatballs and allow them to turn crispy and golden, turning after about 3 to 4 minutes.
After you've turned them over twice carefully transfer to the oven, placing them in an oven-proof dish if necessary and cook for a further 10 minutes or so until no longer pink in the centre.
For the pasta:
Place a large pan of water on a high heat and bring to the boil (you can use the kettle to help speed up the process) add a sprinkle of salt and once the water’s boiling add in the spaghetti and stir so it doesn’t stick. Leave the lid off and allow to cook over a high heat for around 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente.
Serve by draining the pasta (you can keep a good dash of the water and combine this with the sauce to help loosen it if necessary) transfer to a large serving platter, pour over your tomato sauce, add your meatballs and sprinkle over the remaining chopped oregano plus a sprinkle of parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Don’t forget to have plenty of grated Parmesan to hand.