I love to cook- this we know. It’s my meditation, my stress release. It’s what simmers me down after a stressful day. Maybe that makes me a weirdo, but it also means I eat well.
It also means that my husband rarely gets a moment in the kitchen spotlight. 95% of the time this works out well for both of us (good food and a chilled out spouse?!), but he really is a talented cook in his own right, so every once in a while…
This is one of his recipes and it’s so damn good that if it’s on the menu for the evening, you’d better believe I am hauling my butt to the couch to let him do his thing. When I asked if I could share it on Port and Fin he replied with “I’d be honoured! But you have to call it ‘Colin’s Balls.”
But I did include that name in the story, so that has to count for something. Instead I will refer to these as ‘Engagement Meatballs’ because they are so unbelievably good, I swear I might have decided to marry the guy right then and there. With his (meat)balls in my mouth. Yep. There it is.
(Note: my mum and dad are also big fans of Colin’s Balls.)
The ricotta and ground pork make these moist and light and the spices used are not your typical ‘Italian seasoning mix.’ Instead of making a thick marinara- which I do love, but there is a time and place for it- we let the diced tomatoes sing on their own in keeping with the light tone of the dish. As such, this recipe would be great both in winter and summer.
Now all I need is sunny day, a patio and a glass of wine to enjoy these with…
|Engagement Meatballs|| |
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 250 g lean ground beef
- 250 g lean ground pork
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 large tin diced tomatoes
- 1 small tin crushed tomatoes
- ¼ tsp granulated sugar
- Fresh basil, chopped
- Fresh parmesan, grated
- 1 lb spaghetti
- In a large pan, sauté onions until translucent. Scrape into a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, stir together egg, ricotta cheese, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, and half of the sautéed onions. Add beef and pork and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After the meat mixture has rested, roll into large balls. Heating the large the pan you used to sauté the onions, gently place all the meatballs in the pan and brown, rotating gently when necessary. Remove the meatballs and set aside.
- Deglaze the meatball pan with red wine, bringing the wine to boil. Turn heat down to med-low and stir in remaining onion mixture, diced and crushed tomatoes and the sugar. Add meatballs. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, your up your spaghetti according to the package instructions (usually well-salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Serve meatballs and sauce atop a pile of spaghetti to serve family-style. Top with fresh basil and parmesan. Goes great with a side of garlic bread, a sunny day and a bottle of wine!