Spaghetti and Meatballs is an Italian – American dish which typically consists of Mincemeat, Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti. Spaghetti and Meatballs is absolutely delicious and very easy to whip up. Now, this recipe is not a typical Italian take, but more of a Nigerian twist. I personally do not like Tomato sauces as I always find them a bit sour and no matter how well they’re cooked, it’s almost impossible to get rid of the acidic taste, my opinion. So, what I do is add Sweet Bell Peppers and a bit of hotness (Scotch Bonnet) to the Tomatoes to balance the taste and flavour.
You’ll notice the recipe calls for Breadcrumbs, now, this is important. Breadcrumbs improve the texture of the meatballs; when/ where they’re added, the meatballs will be noticeably smoother and spongier. If you have trouble sourcing Breadcrumbs, simply soak two bread slices in 1/4 cup of milk until soggy, squeeze out the excess milk. Mash up the bread and combine with the mincemeat, same result. In case you’re wondering, the egg in the recipe will help to bind the meatballs and keep them from falling apart while cooking. Let’s cook!
500 grams Mincemeat (Beef, Turkey or Pork are ideal)
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes or 5 medium Tomatoes
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Scotch Bonnet
1.5 Medium Onions
2 Tablespoons Tomato Purée
1 Medium Egg
1.5 Tablespoons Breadcrumbs (See alternative above)
2 Cooking Spoons Cooking Oil ( Olive Oil Ideally)
1 Inch Ginger Root
4 Cloves Garlic Minced
2 Tablespoons Chilli flakes (Optional)
Handful Chopped Basil/ Parsley Leaves (Optional)
2 Knorr Chicken Cubes
1 Teaspoon Chicken Seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon White/ Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger Powder
1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Oregano (Optional)
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Salt to Taste
Firstly, place a medium pot on medium heat, add enough water to cook the Spaghetti, when it comes to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti, a dash of oil (optional) and salt to taste. Boil for 9-10 minutes till al dente, then run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Leave to drain in a colander.
Blend the Tomatoes, Red Bell Pepper, Scotch Bonnet, 1 Onion, Ginger, 2 Garlic cloves till smooth, you can blend roughly as well if you so choose. Set aside.
Let’s make the Meatballs.
Season the mincemeat with 1 Knorr Chicken Cube, the Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Oregano half of the Basil/ Parsley leaves, half of the Curry and Thyme and Salt to taste. Combine thoroughly, then add the Breadcrumbs and the Egg. Mix thoroughly.
Now, roll the Mincemeat into small balls and set aside…
Pour one cooking spoon of oil into a non – stick frying pan, place on low to medium heat, then fry the Meatballs till brown on all sides, then set aside…
Pour the oil you used for frying the Meatballs into a bigger pot, then add the remaining Cooking oil. Place the pot on medium heat, when it’s hot, add remaining 2 minced Garlic, chop the remaining half Onion and add to it. Sauté for 2 minutes…
Now, add the Tomato Purée, stir and combine, leave to fry for 5-6 minutes or until the Purée loses its sourness and starts to taste sweet…
Now add the blended Pepper mix, the White Pepper, Black Pepper, Knorr chicken Cube, Chicken Seasoning, the rest of the Curry Powder and Thyme and Salt to taste. Combine thoroughly and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
Now add the Chilli Flakes and the rest of the Basil/Parsley Leaves, stir and combine…
Now, transfer the Meatballs into the Stew, combine thoroughly, leave to cook for 15-20 minutes…
And it’s ready….
Combine the Spaghetti and Meatball sauce if you choose to or just serve the Spaghetti with the Meatball sauce..
I enjoy my Spaghetti and Meatballs with an Italian touch; garnished with grated Parmesan Cheese and Garlic Bread sides.