Gino's magnificent meatballs
Gino’s back cooking a dish both he and his daughter Mia love making together, it's simple, delicious and a family favourite.
Mia's meatballs make a simple midweek meal and are great for making as a family - Gino will also be sharing his secret ingredient to making the meatballs extra soft.
These are great served with pasta, rice or in a baguette.
2 tbsp olive oil
5 slices of white or brown bread, crusts off
500g minced pork
250g minced beef
2 tbsp chopped flat parsley
1 large garlic clove, crushed
70g finely grated pecorino cheese
500g fresh egg tagliatelle
Salt & Pepper
For the sauce
6 tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove
3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
8 large basil leaves
2 balls of mozzarella
1. Take a medium flat tray and pour in the olive oil. Using your fingertips spread the oil all over the tray and set aside.
2. Break the bread into a large bowl and pour over the milk. Mix the bread and milk together with your fingertips to make a wet paste.
3. Add the minced meats and combine before adding the parsley, garlic, pecorino, 2 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper.
4. Crack in an egg and mix thoroughly.
5. Divide into 10 large meatballs, rolling between your palms for 30-40 seconds to make compact. Gently place on the prepared tray.
6. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes (or overnight if you wish).
7. For the sauce, place a large saucepan over a medium heat and pour in the olive oil. Place in 8 meatballs and fry for 15 minutes, gently turning regularly using 2 tablespoons, ensuring they are browned all over. (Set aside the remaining 2 meatballs.
8. Transfer the cooked meatballs one by one to a large plate, leaving the sauce and juices in the pan.
9. Add the 2 last meatballs into the pan and break apart, adding crushed garlic and allow to fry off.
10. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, torn basil leaves, 2 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper.
11. Fill one can with water and pour into the saucepan. Stir and allow to simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally and making sure you scrape the base off the pan for any caramelised bits.
12. Reduce the heat to a minimum and carefully place the whole meatballs in the sauce, pouring any juices left on the plate.
13. Gently stir to make sure the meatballs are completely covered in sauce and leave for 2 hours stirring gently occasionally.
14. Fill a large saucepan with 4 litres of water and 1 tbsp salt and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
15. Remove the meatballs from the sauce and set aside and then add the the pasta to the sauce and stir thoroughly.
16. Divide the pasta and meatballs between 4 warmed plates and sprinkle the mozzarella.
To make the baguettes
1. Take ciabatta loaves or paninis and cut in half vertically. Pull out some of the soft crumb from the middle of each half and set aside.
2. Fill each panino with 2-3 hot meatballs and 2-3 tbsp of the sauce.
3. Take the pieces of bread you put aside and use them to seal each end of the panino so the filling can’t leak out.
4. Serve them hot and fresh!