A day that involves cleaning windows and folding laundry, should end with meatballs and mafaldine, red wine and Borgen. Just sayin'.
Pork and Fennel Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Mafaldine
adapted from here
For the Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2kg tomatoes, passed through a mouli or processed and pushed through a fine sieve
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Sea salt and back pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil, for drizzling
For the Meatballs:
70g (1 cup) fresh soft breadcrumbs
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1kg ground pork ( I used pork neck)
1 egg yolk
40g (1/2 cup) finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for frying
Make the Tomato Sauce:
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the tomatoes, oregano and a little salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes until it starts to darken and get thicker. Remove from the heat, adjust seasoning and set aside and keep warm.
Make the Meatballs:
Put the breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl and pour over the milk. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Put the sea salt flakes, fennel seeds and chilli flakes into a mortar and pestle and pound until it becomes a fine powder.
Add the salt mixture to the soaked breadcrumbs along with the pork, egg yolk, Parmesan, thyme, garlic and pepper. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Roll tablespoonfuls of the meatball mixture into balls and cook them in batches in the oil until browned on all sides. As they cook, drop them into the warm tomato sauce. When all the meatballs are brown and added to the sauce, put the sauce back on a low-medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and check seasoning. Keep the sauce on a low heat while you get on with boiling your pasta. Use a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce if it starts to get too thick or too dry.
Cook the Mafaldine:
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the mafaldine and cook according to package directions. Once al dente, lift the pasta out of the water into a warmed serving bowl. Pour the tomato sauce and meatballs over the pasta. Finish with a good grating of Parmesan cheese and drizzle of olive oil.