So called because they have a mozzarella pearl centre so they go super squidgy when you cook them!
|80g||freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve|
|3 Tbsp||tomato purée|
|1 tsp||dried oregano|
|1 tsp||dried basil|
|Pinch each||salt and black pepper|
|To serve||cooked spaghetti|
|1||garlic clove, chopped|
|1||white onion, chopped|
|1 tsp||ground cinnamon|
|1 Tbsp||tomato purée|
|800g canned chopped tomatoes||canned chopped tomatoes|
|Small handful||freshly chopped basil|
|Pinch||each salt and black pepper|
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- To make the tomato sauce: Melt half the butter in a pan over a high heat and fry the onion and garlic for 4–5 minutes, until brown. Add the cinnamon and stir well. Add the tomato purée and stir for a couple of minutes, then pour in the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Add some salt and pepper, and the basil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes to thicken.
- Meanwhile, mix the beef mince, breadcrumbs, parmesan, tomato purée, oregano, basil and some salt and pepper in a bowl with your hands, making sure they combine really well.
- Divide the mixture into 20 even portions (about 55g each), then round each one in your hand and flatten on the work surface. Place a mozzarella pearl in the middle of each one and fold the meat around to seal it in.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Remove the tomato sauce from the heat and either keep it chunky or use an electric hand mixer to whizz it up to make it really smooth.
- Transfer the sauce to an ovenproof dish and set aside. Return the pan to the stovetop (there's no need to clean it) and set it over a high heat. Put the other half of the butter in (don't worry about any of the sauce that remains stuck to the sides of the pan, as it will all mix together!). Fry the meatballs for 8 minutes, being careful to stir them gently so the mozzarella stays safely in the middle, until the outsides are browning. Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Serve with spaghetti and top with a sprinkle of parmesan and a pinch of black pepper.
- Serves: 4
Edited extract from Cluck Oink Baa Moo by Miranda Ballard, published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Steve Painter, distributed by bookreps.co.nz, RRP $39.99