Mini Meatball and Tomato Sauce Pasta

Meatballs are a great way to feed kids as you can hide all kinds of goodies inside them that they’ll never even know about! Making them really small makes them easy to eat and to mix with Garofalo Motori pasta. You can make a huge batch of these and freeze them for later use.

2 to 3 tablespoons richly flavoured Extra Virgin olive oil

1 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly crushed

200g/7 oz fresh or canned tomatoes or passata

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon chopped parsley or other herb of your choice

200 g/7 oz minced veal or beef or turkey or chicken

50 g/ 2 oz fresh breadcrumbs

50 g/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/4 wine glass cold water

1 egg, beaten thoroughly

3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

sunflower seed oil for deep frying

freshly grated Parmesan, to serve


Fry the garlic very gently with the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or frying pan. You only just want to flavour the oil slightly, so use your nose to smell the oil as it heats, when the garlic is sizzling, but before it goes brown (otherwise it will make the sauce bitter) take the garlic out and throw it away. Pour in the tomatoes and stir carefully.

Simmer over a lively heat for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is glossy and thick. Season to taste, add chopped parsley, basil or other herbs as you prefer, keep warm and cover until required. Mix the meat, fresh breadcrumbs, cheese, egg yolk, salt, pepper and parsley together very thoroughly, then blend in the water gradually.

Mix with your hands for a few minutes, then shape the mixture into small balls about the size of a small cherry. Roll in the beaten egg and fine dry breadcrumbs and then fry in hot sunflower seed oil for a few minutes, or until crisp and browned, turning frequently.

Drain thoroughly on kitchen paper and transfer into the tomato sauce. Stir gently and heat through for about 5 minutes. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook until tender.

Drain and mix with the meatballs and tomato sauce and serve with just a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan.

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