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Melanie's Spicy Meatballs with Spaghetti in Marinara Sauce

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I had my usual conversation with a tray of mince last night. Which normally goes along the lines ‘so what are we doing with you tonight’. Anyway, I ended up adapting B-Well’s idea and made Spicy Meatballs stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and Spaghetti in Marinara sauce. 
Spicy Meatballs
1 kg ground beef (chuck or lamb)
1 small onion, finely diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 green chili finely chopped
¼ red pepper grated
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
Few splashes of milk
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tblsp chopped parsley
2 Tblsp chopped coriander
1 sprig of thyme chopped (leaves only)
½ tsp crushed chili flakes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
About 350 gr mozzarella cheese cut into 1 cm cubes
Add everything (except cheese) together in a large mixing bowl.
Using clean hands mix to combine but do not over mix.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Spray foil with cooking spray.
Using ice cream scoop (sprayed with cooking spray) scoop out mixture into your hand.
Make indent with fore finger and insert mozzarella cube.
Close firmly and roll between two hands and place on tray.
Refrigerate meatballs for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180-190 degrees.
When oven hot reduce to 170 degrees and bake for approximately 30 minutes.
[I have a fan oven so adjust accordingly if you don’t).
Spaghetti in Marinara Sauce
Spaghetti cooked el dente (amount dependent on family needs)
1 small onion
1 can whole tomatoes
2 tblsp tomato paste
Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
Small dried whole red chili, or pinch crushed red pepper flakes (I used both)
½ cup white wine (Optional – and no substitute needed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 large fresh basil sprig, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, more to taste (I used both)
¼ tsp thyme
Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush with your hands.
Pour 1/2 cup water into the can and add it to tomatoes and mix around to get tomato juices. Set aside.
In a pan over medium heat, heat the oil.
When it is hot, add onion fry till golden. Add garlic.
As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), Stir.
Add wine (if using) scraping bottom and allow to reduce.
Add the tomatoes, and the juice.
Add whole chili or red pepper flakes, (I added both), oregano (if using) (I did), bay leaves thyme and salt and pepper.
Place basil sprig, including stem, on the surface.
Let it wilt, then submerge in sauce.
Simmer sauce until thickened, about 15 minutes. (If using oregano, taste sauce after 10 minutes of simmering, adding more salt and oregano as needed.)
Discard bay leaves, basil and chili.
[NOTE : Because this recipe calls for the chili and basil leaf to be discarded at the end I opted to include the and/or options of the red pepper flakes and oregano – you can choose the and/or classic option but it came out yummy the way I did it).
[I then put my sauce in my processor (not blender) and pulsed a few times – I didn’t want it very chunky nor did I want a smooth puree) and then returned it to the pot on very low heat)
I boiled spaghetti in salted water with a splash of olive oil in the meantime.
And as soon as it was done and without draining it used a pasta spoon and just ladled it straight into the sauce.
(Adapted from Internet)
Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar‎

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