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Tagliatelle with Meatballs

ingredients

serves 4
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lean beef
60 g (2 oz) 1 cup soft white breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground coriander
60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
2 - 3 tbsp milk
flour, for dusting
4 tbsp olive oil
400 g (14 oz) tagliatelle
25 g (1 oz) 2 tbsp butter, diced
salt and pepper

sauce

3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, chopped
400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
125 g (4 1/2 oz) bottled sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup white wine, or water

method

1. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan (skillet) and fry the onions and celery until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree (paste), sugar and wine, and season. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, break up the meat in a bowl with a wooden spoon until it becomes a sticky paste. Stir in the breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs and spices. Stir in the cheese and enough milk to make a firm paste. Flour your hands, take large spoonfuls of the mixture and shape it into 12 balls. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan (skillet) and fry the meatballs for 5 - 6 minutes until browned.

3. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, turning once or twice. Add a little extra water if the sauce begins to dry.

4. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, adding the remaining oil, for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Drain the pasta, then turn into a warmed serving dish, dot with the butter and toss with two forks. Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the pasta and serve.

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