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Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

Serves 4
PREP 25mins
COOK 20mins


1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled, finely grated
600g chicken mince
1 1/2 cups (110g) fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup (125ml) good quality chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp oregano
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
350g spaghetti
1/2 cup (40g) shaved pecorino


  Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan on medium. Cook carrot, stirring, for 1 min, until coated in oil. Add 1/3 cup water. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins, until soft. Cool, then place in a food processor and process until smooth.

2 Place mince breadcrumbs, parsley and 1/3 cup of carrot puree in a large bowl. Season. Using clean hands, mix well until combined. Using clean, wet hands to prevent mixture sticking, shape into 20 small meatballs. Chill for 5 mins.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a deep frying pan medium. Cook onion for 5 mins, until soft. Add garlic. Cook for 1 min, until fragrant. Add tomato, stock, paste, oregano, bay leaves and thyme. Season. Bring to boil. Simmer for 5 mins, until sauce thickens slightly.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large frying pan on medium. Cook meatballs, turning, for 5-8 mins, until golden. Transfer to tomato sauce and simmer for 5 mins, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to packet directions. Drain. Add to meatballs, reduce heat to low and cook, tossing, for 2-3 mins, until combined. Serve with pecorino. Alternatively, serve meatballs with spaghetti and pecorino alongside.


Gary's secrets

 •  I like to drain the pasta, then drop it into the simmering sauce and stir to coat the pasta. I often add a dash of olive oil and fresh herbs, too.

 •  I love to eat pasta when tossed in the sauce because it makes the most of rich flavours and, in a cheeky way, it also gives you a moment to wash up the pasta pot and calm yourself for a minute while the family gathers around the table to eat.

How to stay connected with Gary Mehigan


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