I looked at a couple of Jamie Oliver recipes, from The Naked Chef, his first book, (he looks so cute on the cover! Baby Oliver!) and Jamie’s Italy which is a great book- it’s very clear that he prefers Italian cuisine over any other, the passion is very real. I then got confused between the two recipes and came out with this.
It was tasty, and filling, and really surprisingly good as it was borne of a mistake! I used dried herbs. It would taste even better with fresh.
Tin of chopped tomatoes
200g good beef mince
Crushed dried chilli or chilli powder
Pecorino or parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Stick the spaghetti on in salted water. It’s always a bit more salt than you think to make it perfect.
Start simmering the tomatoes, adding a dash of salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and oregano and leave to cook through until the bitter tang is cooked out of them.
Put your mince in a bowl. Add a handful of breadcrumbs, and a tsp each of basil, oregano, cumin, and chilli. Grate in a healthy amount of good hard cheese. Add the yolk from the egg and massage it all together with your hands until it is all mixed together.
Form into 10 balls around 2 cm wide and stick in a well heated grill pan over a medium heat. By now, hopefully, the tomatoes and spaghetti should be done. Drain the spaghetti and clean out the saucepan. Take the tomatoes off the heat and put half in your freshly cleaned saucepan.
Add the spaghetti to the other half of the sauce. Mix it all up nicely. Warm it on a low heat if you need to.
When the meatballs are sealed, add them to the other half of the sauce and heat for about 5 minutes, till the balls cooked through nicely.
Serve the spaghetti, then the meatballs on top, grate some cheese over and if you have it, some torn up basil or parsley.