Prep 1 hr 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Kids of all ages love this dish that's easy to make and very hearty.
- 100 g mozzarella cheese
- 500 g lean ground beef
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 30 g butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 500 g tomato passata
- 250 g pappardelle pasta or 250 g other curly pasta
- 100 g fresh parmesan cheese
- Cut the mozzarella into little chunks.
- You'll need one for each meatball.
- Put the beef into a mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper, cumin and thyme.
- Add the egg and mix it all together, preferrably with your hands.
- Have a bowl of water ready to wet your hands after making each meatball.
- Take some of the meat mixture in one hand, flatten it a bit with your palm and put a chunk of mozzarella on top.
- Then roll the meat around the mozzarella until you have a walnut-sized ball.
- Place finished meatballs on a plate and chill for an hour.
- Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a frying pan.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened.
- Add the meatballs and cook for five minutes, until a little crisp and golden, stirring gently from time to time.
- Add the tomato passata and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, keeping the heat low and stirring occasionally.
- Cook the pasta according to the packet directions.
- Drain well and toss in a bowl with the remaining butter.
- To finish, stir the pasta into the tomato and meatball mixture.
- Serve, sprinkled with parmesan.
I loved this recipe. I thought the meatballs were very different and delicious - what a pleasure to cut into one and have a nice gooey hunk of cheese in the center. The sauce was quite flavorful, if a little thin, for a relatively short cooking time. I left out most of the butter at the end of the recipe and didn't miss it - in fact, next time I will reduce all of the butter by half. I also used only half of the cheese.