I’ve been meaning to write this recipe up for ages. I’ve been making these chorizo meatballs for several months, slightly tweaking the recipe each time I cooked them, adding notes along the way of what I would definitely do again and what I wouldn’t bother repeating. They have now become a regular dinner here.
I’m not usually one for messing around with the classics, and please don’t lynch me if you are of the opinion that chorizo shouldn’t have anything to do with a meatball, but all I shall say is just try them first!
I absolutely love the smoky flavour of these meatballs combined with the creamy, milky mozzarella middle – it’s just divine. To me, this is pure comfort food.
I prefer to sear the meatballs in a frying pan before adding them to the sauce. It just gives them a nice colour and I do think it adds to the flavour.
You can use your favourite tomato sauce recipe in this recipe – whether it’s homemade or from a jar! It’s absolutely fine, I cheat from time to time as well! I don’t feel bad about it and neither should you 🙂
My meatball recipe is based on a recipe I found (don’t laugh) in the “Friends” cookbook. Yes, Friends the beloved 90’s tv show. It’s a book full of many hidden gems such as Pheobe’s elusive oatmeal and raisin cookies (which actually turned out to be the standard Tollhouse recipe), Marcel the monkey’s banana bread, mashed potatoes for the broken hearted and Monica’s onion tartlets. Disappointingly, there is no recipe for Rachel’s English trifle with sautéed beef, peas and onions, in case you’re wondering.
But back to the meatballs! I’ve adapted them from “Joey’s callback spaghetti and meatballs” from the Friend cookbook. I’m not sure Joey’s Italian Mother and sisters would agree with the addition of chorizo (I’m pretty sure they might be a little outraged) but I do think Joey would love them all the same.
For this amount of meatballs, you will need two supermarket sized jars of sauce which are usually 370-500g. If you would prefer to make the sauce yourself, I usually turn to this recipe by Nigella.
Smoky chorizo and beef mozzarella meatballs
Serves 4 people generously
1 500g pack of minced beef
150g chorizo sausage, skinned, cut into small chunks and minced finely in a food processor (I use my mini chopper)
25g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 medium eggs
1 tablespoon water
One pot of mozzarella pearls (I buy mine from Sainsbury’s) or 1 ball of mozzarella, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking the meatballs
Spaghetti and your favourite tomato sauce for serving
Grated Parmesan or mozzarella for serving
Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs apart from the mozzarella in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine very well.
Roll the meat mixture into balls then flatten each meatball out, add a mozzarella pearl then shape the meat mixture around the cheese, shaping into a ball and making sure the mozzarella is sealed inside each one.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and place your tomato sauce in a large saucepan over a low to medium heat. Cook the meatballs in batches. You don’t need them fully cooked through at this stage because you’ll be cooking them fully in the sauce. You’re just looking to get them nice and brown. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
When your tomato sauce is simmering, pop the seared meatballs in. Partially cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally but taking care not to break the meatballs. Sometime the inevitable happens and some of the cheese oozes out, but it doesn’t make it any less delicious!
Cook your spaghetti while the meatballs are simmering in the sauce.
Drain the spaghetti, return to the saucepan and toss a couple of spoonfuls of the tomato sauce through it. Divide the spaghetti onto your plates, top with the meatballs and pour over the sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese or grated mozzarella and serve.
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