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 Pasta and meatball bake with tomato and basil sauce

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PostSubject: Pasta and meatball bake with tomato and basil sauce   November 8th 2012, 9:32 am


Pasta and meatball bake with tomato and basil sauce
Serves 6
Special equipment 2 quart shallow wide-based ovenproof dish

For the sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red chile, halved, seeded, and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
28oz can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil a dash of sugar (optional)

For the meatballs
1lb (450g) good-quality bulk sausagemeat
scant 1oz (25g) fresh fine breadcrumbs
13⁄4oz (50g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
13⁄4oz (50g) mozzarella, cut into about 30 cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
8oz (225g) rigatoni pasta
13⁄4oz (50g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
13⁄4oz (50g) mozzarella, chopped into small pieces

Serves 12
Special equipment 2 x 2 quart shallow wide-based ovenproof dishes or 1 x 3 quart dish

For the sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 red chiles, halved, seeded, and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 28oz cans chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil
a dash of sugar (optional)

For the meatballs
2lb (900g) good-quality bulk sausagemeat
13⁄4oz (50g) fresh fine breadcrumbs
31⁄2oz (100g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
31⁄2oz (100g) mozzarella, cut into about 60 cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1lb (450g) rigatoni pasta
31⁄2oz (100g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
31⁄2oz (100g) mozzarella, chopped into small pieces

1 Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Meanwhile, put the oil for the sauce into a deep
saucepan, add the onion, and fry over high heat for a few minutes or until softened slightly
but not colored.
2 Add the chile and garlic and fry over high heat for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and
tomato purée, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover
with a lid, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the basil and taste—if it
is a little sharp, add a dash of sugar.
3 Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Put the sausagement, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and basil
into a mixing bowl. Mix together with your hands, season with salt and freshly ground black
pepper, and shape into 30 balls (60 for 12). Using your finger, make a hole in the middle of
each meatball, then push a cube of mozzarella into the center and reshape so the
mozzarella is hidden inside.

4 Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs for 4 minutes or until they are
golden brown all over and just cooked through. You may need to do this in batches.
5 Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the package instructions
until just tender. Drain, refresh in cold water, and dry well with paper towels.
6 Stir the pasta into the sauce and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Stir in the meatballs, then spoon into the ovenproof dish and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese
and mozzarella on top.
7 Bake for 20–25 minutes (45 minutes for 12) or until golden brown on top and piping
hot in the center.
Great for a crowd... Make a batch of tomato sauce. Make the meatballs, but leave out the
mozzarella in the center, as it will take too long to do. Cook the pasta, then assemble the bakes.

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