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Caramelised Shallot Meatballs

Caramelised shallots form the base of both the rich tomato sauce, and the gently spiced meatballs in this deeply comforting dish.

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Main Course
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Preparation Time
10 minutes
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Cooking Time
1 hour 15 minutes
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 To make the sauce, gently fry the shallot and garlic in a deep saucepan with the olive oil. Crumble in the chilli and add the oregano and tomatoes.


Mix well, then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 1 hour.


To make the meatballs, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a deep, frying pan on a medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and sugar and cook for 10-15minutes, stirring often, until golden and caramelised.


Use the food processor to turn the bread into breadcrumbs, then add to a bowl with the minced beef.


Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves. Add to the mince with the cumin, chilli flakes, oregano, egg yolk, mustard and caramelised shallots. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.


Mix well, and, with wet hands, roll and pat heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls.


Add the remaining oil to a wide pan on a medium heat and add the meatballs – you may need to cook in batches. Fry until brown all over.


Cover with the tomato sauce and turn the heat down to low to keep the meatballs warm while the spaghetti is cooking. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente – around 8 minutes.


Drain the spaghetti, reserving a mugful of pasta water. Add to the pan of sauce and meatballs with a little of the pasta water and mix together, adding more pasta water if needed.


Serve into bowls topped with fresh basil leaves and lots of grated Parmesan.

UK Shallot Author
This is a recipe by
Isobel Cox
View all my recipes

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