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  • Colleen Ramsey

    Colleen Ramsey

    calendar Tuesday, 24 January 2023

  • Polpette fantastiche!

    (Serves 8-10 or two batches)

    • olive oil
    • 1 onion roughly chopped
    • 1 carrot roughly chopped
    • 1 beef stock cube
    • 3 mugs of boiling water
    • thyme – 5 stalks, leaves removed and chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
    • a 690g jar of passata
    • 2 tbsp of sun-dried tomato pesto
    • 2 tbsp of tomato purée
    • 2 tbsp of sugar
    • a mug of breadcrumbs
    • ½ a mug of milk
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 large eggs (1 to bind the meatballs)
    • 70g of finely grated parmesan cheese
    • sausage meat from 4 pork sausages
    • 1kg of high fat minced beef
    • a handful of parsley, finely chopped
    • a handful of basil, finely chopped
    • salt & pepper to season


    1. First, start with the tomato sauce. This is a simple sweet sauce to complement the savoury meaty meatballs.
    2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Throw in your roughly chopped white onion and carrots and cook for a few minutes. Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Add this along with all the remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until onions and carrots are soft enough to blend.
    3. While this simmers, in a bowl combine the breadcrumbs with the milk and let them soak for a few minutes. Then add in the garlic, egg, Parmesan cheese, meat, parsley and basil and season well.
    4. Mix with your hands for a few minutes, not too long because it can make the meatballs tough.
    5. Spray a baking tray with oil and make them into medium-sized balls the size of a large egg. Spray with oil and then colour under a hot grill for about 10 minutes.
    6. As they are colouring under the grill, remove bay leaves and thyme stalks and liquidise the tomato sauce with a hand blender until it is smooth and then place back onto a high heat to reduce slightly.
    7. When the meatballs have browned nicely, take them out of the oven and place them into the sauce for 35–40 minutes on a low heat with the lid on.
    8. Cook your pasta of choice (I recommend pappardelle or spaghetti) in salty water, until al dente, and drain, reserving a mug of the pasta water. Return the drained pasta to the warm empty saucepan.
    9. Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning to your taste and then spoon a few ladles of the sauce on top of the pasta, along with a splash of the pasta water, and mix around until the pasta has absorbed and is coated by the sauce.
    10. Serve in a nice spiral and top with as many perfectly moist meatballs as your hungry heart desires.
    11. Buon appetito, amici.

    Recipe by Colleen Ramsey (Colleen Ramsey: Bywyd a Bwyd).

    Colleen's book: Bywyd a Bwyd / Enjoying Life through Food (Y Lolfa)

    Instagram: @colleen_ramsey

    Twitter: @_C_Ramsey

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