I had some leftover sausage meat from when I cooked my Italian sausage roll pasta bake so had been hunting through my recipe file for a suitable recipe in which to use it up. I came across this one I had ripped from a magazine - I love the idea of meatballs but I always find cooking them a bit of a hassle - however I was prepared to give them a go. One thing I loved about this recipe was that I could prepare everything beforehand so that when it came to supper time, it didn't take long to cook….perfect for a Monday when Arabella's after school club finishes late and we are always in a rush.
Ingredients for 4 people:
500g pork mince (we actually used 250g mince and 250g sausage meat)
125g / 12 mozzarella balls
300g pasta (we used rigatoni as we had some left over but you could use linguine or spaghetti or whatever you prefer)
100g sun-blush tomatoes
Salt and pepper
150g fresh pesto
In a large bowl mix the pork with 2 tablespoons of pesto and season well.
Take a golf ball sized piece of mixture and flatten it.
Place a piece of mozzarella on top.
Then mould the pork mixture around the cheese and shape into a ball. This was a messy business!
Continue until you have used up all the meat and mozzarella - you should have 12 meatballs. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or longer if you can (I chilled them for 4 hours).
When you are ready to eat, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the packet instructions - mine took 13 minutes.
Heat a non stick frying pan and add a dollop of olive oil and fry the meatballs for 10-12 minutes, turning a couple of times. I overdid the olive oil and so there was a lot of "spit" - I even had to wear an apron!!
After draining the pasta, mix in the remaining pesto.
Then add the meatballs.
Finally stir in sun-blush tomatoes and serve immediately with some shavings of Parmesan.
Even though making and cooking the meatballs isn't the easiest process and I had said to myself I wouldn't do them again, I changed my mind when we were eating - they were very very good, I loved the mozzarella inside them and the combination of the pork and pesto. I had also believed this wouldn't be very good as there isn't really a proper sauce but once again I was mistaken. Arabella loved this as she adores pesto and Pascal really enjoyed it as he doesn't like too much sauce. Alternatively you could mix it up and have the meatballs with a rich tomato sauce and they could be made with either beef, turkey or pork mince - the choice is yours but I will be sticking with this recipe and will definitely be cooking it again.