Not Spaghetti and Meatballs

  • Recipe(s):Pappardelle with a ragu of tiny meatballs (page 92)
  • Prep: Moderate
  • Taste: Good

Back on August 26, 2014 we made another of the pasta recipes from the book. Pastas are one of my favourites for two reasons; 1) They are almost always tasty and 2) they always seem to make the most glorious left-overs. This recipe did not disappoint.

To say this is your Mom or Dad’s spaghetti and meatballs would be a lie. For one, spaghetti noodles are not used and secondly, I have never seen my Mom or Dad, or anyone for that matter, make meatballs as small as the ones required for this recipe. You are asked to make them the size of marbles. That is a lot of meatball making! For this reason the prep is moderate. I choose to roll my meatballs the size of fairly large marbles rather than the tiny marbles you normally see.

Aside from the rolling of the meatballs the rest of the prep is very easy, as long as you have all of the ingredients handy. Unfortunately we forgot to pick up fresh basil so I had to run down to Urban Fare in Olympic Village to grab some before I could finish the prep.

The meatballs themselves were very good. I personally thought that my own meatball recipe, while basic, was pretty good. Typically I would included; onion, garlic, basil, fresh parsley, egg, breadcrumbs and maybe some chilli. When I saw this recipe included parmesan cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest I said to myself, ‘this will be interesting.’ Boy was I right, but it was a good interesting. The cinnamon and nutmeg added a kind of holiday sweetness to the meatball and the parmesan added a sharp saltiness, which mellowed out the garlic and lemon. It was probably one of the best meatballs I’ve had.

The sauce was also good. This was the second time I have used the basil stocks in a recipe and again I thought why do I never do this on my own. The have just as much flavour as the basil leaf but with a crunchy texture – lovely. The rest of the ingredients added some heat (red pepper) and some acidity (red wine vinegar) that is typical of many italian sauces.

The recipe calls for far too much pasta compared to the amount of meatballs and sauce. Personally I like my meatball to pasta ratio to be pretty high. This recipe, as it was, fell a bit low on that scale. In the future I would make this again but with less pasta. It was still a good dish though and would rate midway on the flavour to effort scale.

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