Pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce

Perfect with Kris Pinot Noir


For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 small white onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 1/4 cups ground beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • olive oil, for frying

To serve:

  • 10 cups fusilli pasta


For the tomato sauce:

  1. For the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over a medium heat until hot.
  2. Add the garlic to the oil and saute for 20-30 seconds until golden and aromatic. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook steadily for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until thickened.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir through the extra-virgin olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside until needed.

For the meatballs:

  1. Combine the milk and breadcrumbs in a small mixing bowl. Stir briefly and set aside.
  2. Combine the Parmesan, onion, garlic, ground beef, egg, 1 tsp salt and some freshly ground black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Scrunch together with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the milk and breadcrumb mixture and mix into the ground beef. Shape generous tablespoons of the mixture into meatballs between your palms.
  4. Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a cast-iron pan set over a medium heat until hot.
  5. Add the meatballs to the pan in concentric circles. Saute until golden-brown all over, turning occasionally, about 12-15 minutes; add more olive oil as needed if the pan starts to dry out.
  6. To serve: As the meatballs cook, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water until 'al dente, ' about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Drain when ready and transfer to a serving dish. Reheat the sauce over a low heat.
  8. When the meatballs are ready, transfer to the dish of pasta. Serve with a dish of the tomato sauce on the side.