Lemon & Thyme Pork Meatballs with Spaghetti Recipe | Abel & Cole

Lemon & Thyme Pork Meatballs with Spaghetti

Cooking time
Serves4 people
Lemon & Thyme Pork Meatballs with Spaghetti

Our organic pork meatballs go for a roll in a marvellous mix of garlic, lemon and thyme, and are slowly simmered in a cherry tomato and red pepper sauce, served with a tangle of spaghetti, a savoury grating of Parmesan and a garnish of fragrant basil leaves.

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Ingredients

  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 egg
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • A handful of thyme, leaves only
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 800g tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 100g baby leaf spinach
  • 1 balsamic vinegar
  • 40g parmesan
  • A handful of basil, leaves only
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200ml water

For hob method, go straight to step 8, once completing steps 1 to 3.

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Method

1. Pop the pork mince into a large bowl. Crack in the egg and add the breadcrumbs and thyme leaves. Peel 1 garlic clove and grate it into the bowl. Grate in the lemon zest. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together.
2. Place a frying pan on a medium heat for a few mins. Add 1 tbsp olive oil. Break off a marble-sized piece of the mince mixture and flatten it into a disk. Cook for 2 mins on each side till cooked through. Remove from the pan and take the pan off the heat. Taste the small mince patty and then adjust the seasoning as needed.
3. Roll the mince mixture into large marble-sized balls and place on a plate. You should make 18-24 balls. Place the frying pan back on the heat and when warm, add some of the meatballs and cook for 6 mins, rolling the meatballs over a couple of times till most sides are golden brown. Lift the meatballs into your slow cooker or into a large casserole dish if cooking on the hob. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. From this point follow the method for cooking the meatballs in the slow cooker or on the hob.
4. Slow cooker: Peel and finely chop the onion. Halve the red pepper and scoop out the seeds and white pith. Finely chop the pepper. Peel and crush the remaining garlic clove. Add them all to the slow cooker. Pour in the tins of cherry tomatoes and add some salt and pepper. Gently stir, taking care not to break the meatballs, then pop on the lid. Set the slow cooker to medium and cook for 6-7 hrs. For a faster dish, set the slow cooker to high and cook for 5-6 hrs, or set to low and cook for 8-10 hrs.
5. When the meatballs have 20 mins left to cook, place a large pan of water on the heat. Bring to a boil. When the water is boiling add a pinch of salt and the spaghetti. Cook for 8-10 mins till the spaghetti is al dente (soft but with a slight bite). Drain the spaghetti and tip back into the pan. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and squeeze in juice from half the lemon. Stir then pop on a lid to keep warm.
6. Roughly chop the baby leaf spinach and add it to the meatballs. Gently stir in 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and pop on the lid for a couple of mins to allow the spinach to wilt in the hot sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
7. Divide the spaghetti between 4 warm plates. Top with 5 or so meatballs and the sauce. Garnish with grated Parmesan and torn basil leaves to serve.
8. On the hob: Scoop the meatballs out of the frying pan and set aside in a casserole dish. Peel and finely chop the onion. Halve the red pepper and scoop out the seeds and pith. Roughly chop the pepper. Place the frying pan back on the hob . You shouldn’t need any more oil so add the onion and pepper to the pan. Fry for 8 mins till softened. Meanwhile,peel and grate or crush the other garlic clove.
9. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 min. Pour in the cherry tomatoes and 200ml cold water. Season and bring to a bubble. Set the meatball dish on a medium heat and pour in the sauce. Gently stir, taking care not to break up the meatballs.
10. Pop on a lid and cook for 40 mins till the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. Add a splash of water if it’s looking too dry.
11. When the meatballs have 20 mins left to cook, place a large pan of water on the heat. Bring to a boil. When the water is boiling add a pinch of salt and the spaghetti. Cook for 8-10 mins till the spaghetti is al dente (soft but with a slight bite). Drain the spaghetti and tip back into the pan. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and squeeze in juice from half the lemon. Stir then pop on a lid to keep warm.
12. Roughly chop the spinach and add it to the meatballs. Gently stir in 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and pop on the lid for a couple of mins to wilt the spinach. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you like.
13. Divide the spaghetti between 4 warm plates. Top with 5 or so meatballs and the sauce. Garnish with grated Parmesan and torn basil leaves to serve.
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Momma

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Trinity_303

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Excellent dish! Lemon and herb flavour in the meatballs really lovely. And worked just as well with regular tin of tomatoes. If adding extra water, make sure it's warm otherwise you lose all the temperature you've built up.