Fish and meat together invokes somewhat controversial thoughts, but take my word for it (and Nigel Slater’s, who’s recipe I adapted this from) the citrus tangy lemon juice and salty anchovies make these little balls of loveliness something special, lovely comfort food.
500g of good pork mince
1 tin anchovy fillets in extra virgin olive oil, keep the oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped basil
2 tsp chopped thyme
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tsp hot paprika
500g tomato passata
The other half to your onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tbsp olives, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano or mixed italian herbs
1 tbsp basil, chopped
Freshly milled black pepper
Gently fry the onion and garlic in olive oil on a low heat until soft and translucent, set aside to cool.
Chop the anchovies fairly small and add these along with their olive oil, the sautéed onions and garlic and all the other ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix well to combine.
Mould into balls (using about 1 tbsp of mixture) and rest them in a cool place for about 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. (Not essential but they will taste better!)
While you’re waiting, you can make your tomato sauce. Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil on a low heat until soft and translucent then add all the remaining ingredients, simmer on a low heat until you are ready for it.
Cook your pasta in sated boiling water.
Fry the meatballs in a little oil, turning them so they are nicely golden on all sides. Toss the drained, cooked pasta in the tomato sauce and serve with the meat balls, topped with the chopped fresh basil, ground black pepper, and grated parmesan