This is a recipe I’ve made on and off over the years that is a crowd favourite. I had promised my wife I’d cook this for the last couple of days, and finally got around to making it.
- Food processor
- Mixing bowl
- Air Fryer or Oven
- Pots and pans
- 300 grams of minced beef
- 200 grams of minced pork
- 150 grams of bacon
- 50 grams of diced mushroom (use the same ones in the sauce)
- 100 grams of onion (about one small onion, diced)
- 2 gloves of garlic
- 25 grams (about 1/2 a cup) of flat leaf parsley
- 25 grams (about 1/2 a cup) of fresh basil
- 50 grams of parmesan cheese
- 70 grams breadcrumbs (optional)
- 7 grams garlic powder
- 5 grams smoked paprika
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 150 grams of mushrooms (button, shitake, portobello)
- 100 grams diced onion
- 300 grams of cherry tomatoes
- 25 grams of dried Italian herbs mix (or your choice of herbs)
- 100 grams baby spinach
- Left over basil leaves from the meatball
- 400 gram tinned diced tomato
- 20 grams tomato paste (liberally)
- Half can of water
- 10ml Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Making the meatballs
- In a food processor, combine the onion, garlic, parsley, bacon and mushroom. Pulse until all evenly cut and ready. This took 15–20 pulses for my processor.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the beef and pork, spices, breadcrumbs and egg. Mix gently to combine. The breadcrumbs can help with the texture and structure, but aren’t necessary.
- Get the air fryer started at 190 °C. Line the basket or tray with parchment paper.
- Using a spoon, scoop out a golf size portion of the meat mixture. Roll it into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all mixture is used.
- Put the meatballs in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. This helps keep their shape.
- Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Stopping at 10 minutes, to tun them over.
Making the Sauce
- Half the cherry tomatoes and put them in the air fryer with a sprinkle of salt for 12 minutes. This can be done while you make the meatballs first. This will also preheat the air fryer when you’re cooking the meat balls.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, get the pasta water on the boil. You can use any pasta you like. Spaghetti, penne, Fuseli, it’s up to you.
- While the meatballs cook, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, add the diced onions and brown off.
- Add in the mushrooms, Italian herbs and let this reduce and brown.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and half a can of water, then add the tomato paste.
- Next, add the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the sauce reduce by about 10% and reduce it to a low simmer until the meatballs are ready.
- Stir in the basil and baby spinach.
- Once the meatballs are cooked and browned, add them to the sauce and cover them. Let them cook for a further 5–7 minutes until coated nicely.
- Ready to plate and eat.
- You can choose any pasta you want.
- You can use whatever sauce recipe you’d like, I wanted to include the one I used to make sure the recipe was complete.
I hadn’t made this recipe in nearly seven years and adjusted it slightly with the ingredients I had. The last time I made this, I had just moved to Vietnam and, it was one of the first meals I made for friends that came to my new studio in district one.