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Recipe: Polpette & Bucatini with Rich Butter Tomato Sauce

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Polpette & Bucatini with Rich Butter Tomato Sauce. Photo: Donal Skehan

Polpette & Bucatini with Rich Butter Tomato Sauce. Photo: Donal Skehan

Polpette & Bucatini with Rich Butter Tomato Sauce. Photo: Donal Skehan

Serves 4

The sauce here is comprised of cherry tomatoes left to their own devices slowly softening into garlic, thyme and butter while the meatballs or polpette use sausage meat injected with fennel seeds and the bite of chilli. A dream dinner.

Ingredients

For the sauce:

100g butter

50ml olive oil

500g cherry tomatoes, halved

2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed

2 garlic cloves, sliced

For the polpette:

500g sausage meat

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed

1 egg

50g breadcrumbs

1tsp olive oil

To serve:

350g bucatini

Handful of basil leaves

Grated Parmesan cheese

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Add the butter and oil to a sauté pan over a low heat. Once melted, add the tomatoes, thyme and garlic. Allow to simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have softened completely. Use a fork to lightly press the tomatoes down.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the polpette, apart from the oil in a medium-sized bowl. Using damp hands, shape into 28 meatballs, about the size of a walnut.

3. Add oil to another pan over medium heat and fry the meatballs for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally to brown all sides. While they are cooking, cook the pasta.

4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt the water well and add the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes or according to packet instructions until al dente.

5. Transfer the rough tomato sauce to the meatballs and bring to a steady simmer until the meatballs get nicely coated. 6. Using tongs, transfer the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss through. Serve sprinkled with basil leaves and grated Parmesan.

Weekend Magazine