I had the request for meatballs so I decided to lighten them up with more herbs from my garden. I was “herb-happy” with the sauce too and it all turned out very fresh and clean-tasting. This was a fantastic dinner and I again took a bow to my life and thanked it very much for giving me the hands and will to cook this food for my most precious family!
For the Meatballs; You will need: 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (or 1/2 beef, 1/2 lamb mixture), 1 egg, 4 slices of plain sandwich bread (the crappy kind works the best!), 2/3 cups milk (any %), 3 tbs freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 sprig of thyme leaves, 2 tbs apium or celery leaves, chopped, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, several grinds of black pepper, 3/4 cup of white flour, 3 tbs olive oil. AND 12 Spring onions, white parts only (no need to trim root), 1 lb spaghetti pasta.
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Tear bread into small bowl and soak in milk. Crack the egg into a big bowl and whisk with a fork. Add meat and herbs, salt and pepper. Squeeze out excess milk from bread with hands and add to meat. Using hands mix everything together.
2 – Put flour into bowl and form meatballs with hands (coat hands in olive oil to prevent meat from sticking). Roll meatballs in flour as you go and reserve on a plate until they are all made.
1 – Put 2 tbs of olive oil on baking tray and place in oven for 4 minutes. Take the tray out and arrange meatballs in a single layer on one side of tray. Coat scallions in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and place on other side of tray. Cook for 14 minutes. Take out and turn and cook for another 12 minutes. Remove to plate and keep warm until ready to plate food.
*Remember to put the spaghetti on 15 minutes before you are ready to serve!
For Red Sauce; You will Need: 5 or 6 spring onions, white pats only, sliced, 1 28oz can plum tomatoes, roughly chopped, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 2 sprigs oregano (1/4 cup leaves), 8 basil leaves, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, several grinds of pepper, 1 cup water.
1 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add oil. Saute along with garlic for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, salt, pepper and herbs. Bring to a boil and then add water.
2 – Turn down, cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve: Toss pasta into red sauce when it has cooked. Divide between 6 warmed plates, giving everyone some meatballs and spring onions. Pass Parmigiano Reggiano if you like.