The Daily Telegraph - Saturday
ONE-PAN SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
Yes, you read that right – one pan for spaghetti and meatballs; every ingredient gets cooked in the same pan. Harnessing all the wonderful flavours from the meatballs that are browned at the start, the pasta then cooks in the tomato sauce releasing its starch directly into the dish, creating a rich, luxurious sauce that clings to the pasta strands. You can also leave the meatballs out and have a pasta with tomato sauce in 10 minutes. I like to serve this dish with a scattering of crispy pesto-flavoured crumbs. Take the shortest, easiest route to this delicious textural addition and use a packet of store-bought croutons, crushed up – they look great and add a crisp contrast to the tender spaghetti.
Serves four, with leftovers
INGREDIENTS Olive oil, for frying and drizzling 16 pre-made raw meatballs (from the refrigerator section in the supermarket) 3 garlic cloves, grated 1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried chilli flakes 400g spaghetti
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
25g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve Handful of basil leaves, chopped
Large handful of flavoured croutons, crushed (I use basil pesto flavour)
h Bring a full kettle or a large saucepan of water to the boil. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large, shallow, flameproof casserole dish or a deep frying pan with a metal handle over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs for eight minutes, turning frequently until browned all over. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside, keeping them warm. h Add another drizzle of oil to the dish/pan and fry the garlic for one minute, then quickly add the oregano, chilli flakes, spaghetti and tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the pan to lift anything that has caught. Fill both of the tomato tins with boiling water and add to the dish/ pan, along with the salt and some pepper. h Bring to the boil and cook for eight to 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the pasta is just cooked and the sauce is clinging to the strands. Dot the meatballs over the pasta, submerging them a little in the hot pasta and sauce, then sprinkle with the parmesan. Scatter over the chopped basil and serve immediately with a drizzle of oil and a scattering of the crushed crispy croutons.