Spaghetti and meatballs with slow-roasted tomato & red wine sauce


Spaghetti and meatballs with slow-roasted tomato & red wine sauce

Total Time: 1 Hour


  • 1 ciabatta
  • 150ml milk
  • 300g pork mince
  • 200g beef mince
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup (25g) finely grated pecorino (see note)
  • 1/4 cup (25g) finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil, to shallow-fry
  • 400g spaghetti


  • 12 large vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
  • 5 garlic cloves (skin on)
  • 1 cup (250ml) full-bodied red wine
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a large baking tray.
  2. For the tomato sauce, place tomatoes, cut-side up, and garlic on the baking tray and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until soft. Cool slightly, then place tomatoes in a food processor. Squeeze the garlic from their skins into the processor and whiz until a smooth paste. Transfer tomato mixture to a pan with wine and vinegar. Season, then cook over low heat, stirring, for 20 minutes or until slightly reduced.
  3. Meanwhile, cut 4 thick slices from the ciabatta (set remaining loaf aside), remove the crust and tear into pieces. Place in a small saucepan over medium heat with milk and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until milk is absorbed. Remove from heat and mash bread with a fork. Cool slightly. Tear remaining ciabatta into pieces and whiz in a food processor until fine crumbs. Tip onto a plate and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine pork and beef mince, onion, garlic, parsley, cheeses, nutmeg, egg and mashed bread. Season, then mix by hand until well combined.
  5. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  6. Heat 1cm oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. In batches, fry meatballs, turning, for 2-3 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel. Add to sauce and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
  7. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain. Divide spaghetti among 4 bowls and top with meatballs and a little sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.