SPICY MEAT­BALLS WITH SPAET­ZLE AND SPINACH

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Food In A Flash -

Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins Cook­ing time 15 mins Serves 4

1 tsp fen­nel seeds

6 cloves gar­lic

2 tsp smoked pa­prika

1 tsp ground cumin

Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son

400g beef mince

1/2 brown onion, finely diced 4 free-range eggs

2 Tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

80g un­salted but­ter

11/2 cups plain flour, plus ex­tra 1 Tbsp 2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup milk

1/4 bunch pars­ley, leaves picked,

finely chopped, plus ex­tra, to serve 4 cups baby spinach leaves

STEP 1 Place fen­nel seeds in a small pan over medium heat and cook un­til toasted and very aro­matic. Trans­fer to a mor­tar with gar­lic, spices and

1 tsp salt. Pound un­til a smooth paste forms. Mix in a large bowl with mince, onion and 2 egg yolks (re­serv­ing whites), then knead un­til smooth. Sea­son with salt and pep­per, then form into 24 even-sized small balls. STEP 2 Heat oil in a large fry­ing pan on medium heat. Cook meat­balls for 5 min­utes, turn­ing, un­til well browned. Set aside. Add half the but­ter and 1 Tbsp flour to the pan and cook briefly, stir­ring. Stir in stock, whisk­ing un­til smooth, and sim­mer un­til thick­ened. Re­turn meat­balls, toss in the sauce, then re­move from the heat.

STEP 3 Whisk re­main­ing eggs, re­served whites and milk in a bowl un­til smooth. Add flour and pars­ley, whisk­ing thor­oughly, then sea­son with salt and pep­per. Strain through a colan­der into a large saucepan of rapidly boil­ing salted wa­ter. Cook for 20 sec­onds un­til spaet­zle are float­ing, then scoop out with a slot­ted spoon to a bowl. Toss with re­main­ing but­ter and spinach. Serve with the meat­balls and sauce, scat­tered with ex­tra pars­ley.

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