spaghetti & meatballas cheese

recipe and styling Sydney food stylist Jane Collins

photography Rob Shaw


I used to find meatballs too dry and uninteresting… I obviously was eating the wrong meatballs.  These are tender, easy to cook and almost a one pot wonder!  I pan fry these all in one frypan and used all the beautiful brown crusty bits that fall off when you cook them as the base for the eshallots to cook in. Be sure to add any juices that have been released from the meatballs resting into the sauce, these makes then even tastier.

I believe it starts with the cream soaked bread…and the tomatoes must be of highest quality, the mince too needs a little bit of fat in it, so don’t be afraid to go 4 star. The fat adds the flavour and texture and helps keep it moist… and then there is the love! Each ball must be rolled with love and a bit of cheeky laughter. Even my fussy daughters – who  until recently would only eat plain spaghetti  love these.

So try them and see what you think.
Spaghetti and Meatballs

Prep time 30 min
Cooking time  20 min
2 slices  day old white bread, cut the hard crust off

1/4 cup pure cream
500 g beef mince, 4 star, with a little fat still
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp chopped rosemary
2 tsp  lemon zest
For the tomato sauce:
¼ cup olive oil
2 eshallots,  ( the small purple ones ) finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
400g can Mutti ( Italian tomatoes) tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
400g spaghetti

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Baby basil leaves to serve

1 For the meatballs, place the bread into a bowl and pour the cream over, set aside for a few minutes to  soften. In a large bowl combine the bread with mince, garlic, egg, parsley, rosemary and lemon zest. Season well with salt and ground black pepper and shape into walnut-sized meatballs.
2  Heat  half the olive oil in a frypan and cook the meatballs for 6-8 minutes  turning until brown on all sides.  Remove from pan, keeping warm on a covered plate.

3 For the tomato sauce, heat remaining oil in the same frypan, ( dont wipe it clean, use all the little brown bits to add flavour to the sauce )  over medium high heat, cook eshallots and garlic for 1-2 minutes until softened . Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, add the meatballs and any juices back into the pan. Reduce heat, simmer with lid on  for 10 minutes till sauce has thickened and meatballs are cooked through. Season with salt, sugar and cracked  black pepper.
3 Meanwhile cook spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, as packet directs. Drain.
4  Serve spaghetti with meatballs and sauce, Sprinkle with Parmesan  and basil leaves to serve.

meatballas & spaghetti 2

whoops ! the photographer flicked the table around and the plate and the meatballas went flying !!!  It landed in such a cool pattern and a very artistic splat that I had to take a photo. We didn’t eat this portion… luckily there was more in the pan.  BUT the beautiful dish broke…another one bites the dust.

meatballs & spaghetti 4