My first recipe for spaghetti with meatballs was published on May 10, 2005, after dinner at a pub called The Oarhouse in Malate, a hang-out for photographers, journalists, writers, and expats. We ordered spaghetti with meatballs there, I liked it and did a home-cooked version a few days later. That recipe is on page two of this entry. I’m posting a new recipe for spaghetti with meatballs to celebrate the soon-to-be-announced re-opening of The Oarhouse which is now owned and managed by my good friend, photo journalist Ben Razon.
The meatballs for this pasta dish are a mixture of ground beef, spicy sausage meat, and chorizo Pamplona. Very flavorful as the spiciness of the sausage meat and the smoky flavors of the chorizo Pamplona are mixed into the sauce. The sauce itself is thick and chunky made with fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Press the spicy sausages to force the meat off the casings. Discard the casings. Dice the chorizo and onion. Put in the food processor and grind. You can do this by hand but Spanish chorizo that had been smoked and dried is too much for my chopping skills.
In a bowl, mix the ground beef, sausage meat, processed chorizo, and onion. No need to add salt and pepper. That comes later. Dice then finely chop the garlic, onions, pimientos, and tomatoes. I did this in a food processor for convenience. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped vegetables and cook over high heat, stirring often, until a bit softened. Add the oregano leaves. Pour in the broth. Season with salt and a bit of sugar. Pepper is optional because of the spicy sausage meat.
Drop the meatballs into the boiling sauce. When all the meatballs are in and the sauce is boiling once more, lower the heat, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Do not stir during the first 15 minutes of simmering to avoid breaking the meatballs. You can stir the sauce when the meatballs are firm and partially cooked. That usually takes about 15 minutes.
After 45 minutes (an hour is better), the meatballs will have shrunk and the vegetables will have liquefied. If the sauce appears thin, turn up the heat to medium and boil the sauce, uncovered, until thickened. It’ll take anywhere from five to 10 minutes. To serve, place some cooked pasta in a bowl. Ladle some of the chunky sauce over the noodles and top with the meatballs. Sprinkle with grated cheese and some parsley and dig in.