Melting meatball macaroni

This recipe has all the elements of comfort food; beef and pork meatballs with an oozing cheesy filling, a rich tomato sauce and pasta

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:30 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 646
  • fat 24g
  • saturates 11g
  • carbs 40g
  • sugars 9g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 36g
  • salt 1.8g

Ingredients

  • 300g pork mince
  • 400g beef mince (with around 10% fat)
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 200g tallegio or mozzarella, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 50ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml passata
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 400g macaroni or other pasta shape
  • crusty bread, to serve (optional)
MPU 2

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the pork and beef mince with the fennel seeds, chilli, 1 tsp oregano and some seasoning in a large bowl until combined. Divide and shape into 18 meatballs with a nugget or two of taleggio in the middle (save some for the top), then chill for 10 mins.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan (use a flameproof casserole dish if you can – it’ll save on washing up). Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sizzle until softened, about 8 mins . Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then add the tomato purée, wine, tomatoes, passata, bay leaves, sugar remaining oregano and lots of seasoning, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins. Meanwhile, arrange the meatballs on a baking tray lined with foil, drizzle with the remaining oil and bake for 10 mins.

  3. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving some water. If the pan is not ovenproof, tip the sauce into a casserole dish. Stir the pasta into the sauce along with the liquid from the meatballs and some pasta water if it needs thinning. Turn the grill to a medium-high setting.

  4. Nestle the meatballs into the pasta, so that they poke out the top. Scatter the remaining taleggio over the top and grill for 5-10 mins until the cheese and meatballs are golden. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.

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