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This must be the Neapolitan equivalent of Sunday roast. An interesting alternative to Bolognese. One dish that contains all you need for a complete festive meal. The sauce which used to be cooked for a long time, at least 2 hours, is very dense and enriched with the little bits of meat that come off the polpette while cooking. I personally don’t cook it for more than 1/2 an hour and the result is just as good. Use this sauce for egg tagliatelle, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, surround the pasta with meatballs, and you will have a complete and very nutritious meal, ideal for the whole family.

500 gr passata

2 dsp olive oil

500gr water

bunch basil

1 medium onion

for the meatballs:

250 gr of lean mince beef

3 eggs

4 dsp parmesan cheese

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs or freshly made from stale bread

20 raisins soaked

2 tbsp pine nuts

salt and pepper

Slice the onion and put it in a saucepan with the oil, the passata and the water. Bring to boil and let simmer covered for ten minutes. Add the basil. During this time prepare the meatballs. Mix the meat with the breadcrumbs, the beaten eggs, parmesan, pine nuts and soaked raisins. Season to taste with salt and pepper and roll it into balls the size of a golf ball. Turn up the heat and when the sauce is boiling again put gently the meatballs in, making space for all of them so that they are all under the sauce. Cover and let simmer for ½ an hour stirring frequently. The long cooking time ensures that the sauce absorbs the flavour of the meatballs thoroughly. At the end the sauce should be halved in volume. Season to taste and turn off the heat. You can mix this sauce with tagliatelle or penne or, as a side dish, you can accompany them with rice, bruschetta etc.

Tip: You can make fresh breadcrumbs easily by toasting some fresh bread and then crushing it


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