These melt in the middle herby meatballs are delicious. As a whole dish it has lots of veggies and has all those comforting flavours you want in a pasta dish. It’s nice the meatballs are baked rather than fried as all the juices and flavours go into the pasta and tomatoes. It does take a little bit of effort but it is well worth it.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the meatballs
- 500g pork mince
- 2 slices of wholewheat bread (recipe here), blitzed into breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- Sprig of rosemary, leaves only finely chopped
- Sprig of sage, leaves only finely chopped
- 100g kale, stems removed and finely chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 1 ball of mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Drizzle of olive oil for browning
For the pasta
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sun dried tomato paste
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 300ml of chicken stock
- 100g small pasta tubes
- Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- pre heat oven to 180 degrees fan.
- Mix all the meatball ingredients in a bowl apart from the mozzarella and olive oil. Knead so everything is combined evenly.
- Take a small handful of the mince mixture, place a piece of mozzarella in the middle and mould the mince around it. Repeat with all the mince.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil over a medium heat. Brown the meatballs all over in batches and set aside.
- In the same pan add the shallots, carrot and celery, cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally so the vegetables soften. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook out for a further minute stirring so the veggies get coated. Next add the tomatoes, stock and pasta. Season to taste.
- Add the meatballs into the pasta mix bake in the oven covered for 25-30 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Serve and enjoy.