Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rigatoni and Meatballs

This is a classic comfort food and a firm favourite with kids. Spaghetti and meatballs is another serving option, but in my experience, rigatoni is easier and less frustrating for hungry little mouths to eat.

My version is a good source of iron, omega-3's and it also provides a sneaky serve of vegetables.

The meatballs cooked without the sauce are suitable for babies as finger foods from 7-9mths+.

1tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red onion, finely diced
4 anchovy fillets
400g can peeled whole Italian tomatoes
1 cup pureed steamed carrot
8 button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
Cracked pepper (and salt to taste)
Fresh basil

500g lean pork mince (you can buy Heart Smart pork mince at Woolworths)
500g lean beef mince
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 red delicious apple, finely grated
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated light mozzarella cheese

  1. Begin the sauce first. Heat oil in a large pan, then saute onion and garlic.

  2. Add remaining sauce ingredients, simmering gently while you prepare the meatballs.

  3. For the meatballs, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with clean hands.

  4. Form small meatballs (roughly the size of plums) and place each gently in the simmering sauce. They will shrink slightly when cooked.

  5. Turn meatballs once and simmer gently until cooked through. If sauce looks too dry at any stage, add a little of the pasta water.

  6. Stir through fresh basil leaves before serving.

  7. Serve on top of fresh pasta with a side of green salad.

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