Having made nero pasta for the first time ever I knew I had to make a sauce that would stand out – and this one for Pasta With Meatballs really did! Nero pasta, or black pasta, is made with squid ink. This is not readily available in South Africa. I found some in a small supermarket when we were in Siena, Italy.
Pasta With Meatballs
Siena is the capital of the province of Siena, Tuscany. It is a place I could easily go back to, and have plans to do so. It is a UNESCO world heritage site, like many other stunning cities in Italy. Siena can boast that is attracts more than its fair share of foreign visitors per year. Most notably it is famous for its cuisine, art and museums. But probably it is best known for the Palio, a horse race held twice a year around the streets of the city. Here you will see riders from each house of Siena, compete against each other in bareback riding. More often than not, the horses cross the line without their rider.
- 200 g pasta 00 flour
- 2 whole eggs
- pinch of salt
- 2 sachet’s squid ink
- flour for dusting
- you can do this by hand, or in a food processor or in the Kitchen Aid!
- bring together all the ingredients until a dough is formed
- knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes
- you need to make sure the dough is not too wet – add flour if it is
- or too dry – I add an egg yolk, but you can add water – trust your instinct here
- wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
- divide into two and roll through the pasta machine
If you find yourself in Siena be sure to walk outside the main walls to find a place to eat!
Pasta with Meatballs
- 250 g minced beef
- 1 egg
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground pepper to season
- 5 mls ground cumin
- flour for handling
- mix all the ingredients together very well and over rather than under season the meat
- flour your hands and using a teaspoon to get the mince out of the bowl, form small meat balls - you want them to be bite size
- once done, allow to rest in the fridge
- then cook the meatballs a batch at a time until just before being done
- remove from the pan and set aside
- cook your pasta while you add the tomato sauce to the meatball pan - recipe here
- and the meatballs and heat through
- add the pasta, serve and enjoy!