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Pork and lemon meatballs with tagliatelle
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These pork meatballs are absolutely fabulous in this rich and savory tomato sauce.
2 large red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (26oz) box passata (strained tomatoes) or 1(28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1lb 95% lean ground pork
1 large egg yolk
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, plus a few small leaves to serve
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12oz dried tagliatelle pasta
- Spray a large, heavy saucepan with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the red onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and 2 tbsp water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion starts to get tender.
- Scoop half of the red onion mixture into a medium bowl. Stir the passata or crushed tomatoes into the remaining onions in the pan, raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened.
- Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Add the pork, egg yolk, chopped oregano, lemon zest, 1 tsp salt and black pepper to taste to the onions in the bowl and mix together well with your hands. Shape into 24 rough meatballs, placing them on the prepared baking sheet. (You can make more or fewer if you want—just remember they’ll take a bit longer to cook if they’re larger.) Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Broil the meatballs 4–6in from the heat source for 5 minutes. Drain away any cooking juices, then turn the meatballs and broil for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drop them into the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- While you are browning the meatballs, add a pinch of salt and the tagliatelle to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and return to the cooking pot. Cover to keep warm.
- Divide the pasta among 4 heated bowls. Add meatballs and sauce to each and scatter with oregano leaves. Serve piping hot.