How to cook : awesome pasta with meatballs, the lazy way!

 I remembered seeing this recipe on a rather old episode of 'Nigella Bites' and being pretty certain that it would be something I could make and actually like, so I dug out the respective cookbook and had everything but passata in the cupboard. I wasn't in the mood for making my own meatballs, and it seemed slightly daft as I have a few packets freezing from that epic meat haul from a few Tesco trips back. The thought of making pasta makes my arms cry so I picked some up from Marks and Spencer while I was in town.

I followed Nigella's recipe fairly closely, only making slight adjustments. You can find her recipe on page 100 of 'Nigella Bites' in the 'Rainy Days' section.

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What you'll need:

~ 1 onion
~ 2 garlic cloves
 ~ fresh basil (my addition)
~ 700g bottle tomato passata
~ 1 tsp dried oregano
~ 100 milk (book asks for full fat, I used semi-skimmed)
~ coarse salt and ground black pepper
~ 1 tbsp olive oil
~ 1 tsp unsalted butter (book asks for 1 tbsp...)
~ pinch of sugar (I didn't use this...)

~ 12 meatballs (at least, I used 15)
~ fresh or dried pasta

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This is so easy!! Get your onion and garlic cloves, peeled, into your food processor with the blade attachment at the bottom, along with the oregano and whizz it up until you have a very finely chopped mass of onion and garlic. You will need to scoop around the edges once or twice to make sure everything gets chopped up. Be careful when you take the lid off, the fumes will blow your head off. 

Heat up your sautee pan along with the oil and butter, and add the onion mixture once the butter is melted. Coat everything in the oil and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. If it's starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add more oil. Be careful not to colour the onions; they just need to be softened.

Next up is the passata. Empty out the jar into the pan then refill the bottle halfway with cold water, give it a good shake - with the lid on - and add that in. It will look rather watery but it will thicken up. Have faith! Give it a good seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. 

Once the time is up, mix in the milk and add in your meatballs one at a time. Make sure they're not crammed together so they all get an even cooking. Leave to cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat, making sure not to turn them. 

Final 10 minutes! Boil the kettle. Give your meatballs a turn and the sauce a good stirring. Taste and adjust as you like. It's time to get your pasta on so get cracking, remember to salt the water!

The oil on the surface has leeched out from the meatballs.
Time's up! Drain your pasta and add it straight into the sautee pan. Give it a good mix - but be careful, I made an awful mess!! Serve straight away with fresh basil. 

Ta da!!!! :)

How easy was that?!

Let me know how you got on!

Happy cooking! :) <3

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