Pork meatballs with puttanesca sauce 

Spaghetti puttanesca (pronounced ‘spa’ghetti alla putta’neska’) is an Italian dish invented in Naples in the mid 20th century. The ingredients typically include tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers and garlic. In this recipe, because we have a lot of meat eaters, we’ve added pork meatballs with lots of fennel – it was an immediate hit.

SERVINGS
4
ACTIVE TIME
10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME
30 MINUTES
LEVEL
EASY
INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
chilli flakes and oregano
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
3 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 x 400-gram tins tomatoes
1 hand black olives, pitted
good handful basil leaves, ripped
400 grams bucatini/spaghetti
parmesan, for grating
FOR THE MEATBALLS
1/3 cup bread crumps / wheat-free bread crumps
pork mince
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

METHOD

Prepare all your ingredients.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion with a good pinch of salt until soft and translucent. Add the anchovies and stir to melt into the onion. Add the garlic, chilli, capers, oregano and the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.

Meanwhile, combine the meat, bread crumps, garlic, fennel, salt and ground black pepper and mix with wet hands. Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls (you should get about 18). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and cook the meatballs until golden and cooked through.

Bring a large saucepan with water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add a good amount of salt and tip in the pasta. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until al dente. Keep a cup of water aside and drain the rest.

To serve, add the olives, basil and meatballs to sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the reserve pasta water and stir through. Place the hot spaghetti on a serving platter and pour over the sauce. Serve immediately and grate over plenty of parmesan and garnish with basil if desired.

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