This is my second favourite thing to do with a pack of sausages: Italian style meatballs and pasta. Rather than faffing with beef mince and seasonings, these juicy balls are already pre-seasoned and yummy, without having to do much to them. This recipe makes enough for 100 small hedgehogs, or around 3 HUGE servings if you’re a manly man who uses manly things like drill bits and doesn’t believe in knitwear. I get 4-5 servings out of this bc I am a smol. Not as cheap as being a veggie but sometimes you gotta have some iron that doesn’t come from spinach or misogyny.
What you do is you get a pack of GOOD, NICE, HIGH QUALITY SAUSAGES (Richmond sausages make me very angry – they’re 42% unspecified mashed up bits of dead pig and 58% fucking bread. They are fat, watery lie; the sausage equivalent to Trump.) and you make the meatballs from your nice bangers, while making a delicious homemade pasta sauce* at the same time. This can also have bacon in it if you’re going all out, but it’ll bump the cost up too. I freeze the remaining meatballs and sauce and then do the classic defrost-microwave-drill while serving it on top of cookedly freshed spaghetti.
What u is needing:
Pack of bloody lovely at-least-95%-pork sausages. PLEASE DON’T DO THIS WITH CHEAP ONES. IT WON’T BE TASTY. It’s the price of a double vodka and coke for this!! – £2.50 (Tesco’s finest) *begs*
A little sploogey of oil – 5p
Tin of tomatoes – 29p
Onion – 10p
Tomato paste/ketchup – 10p
3-4 Mopped Chushrooms if you want them; not essential – 30p
3 cloves of garlic, grated – 11p
Passata – 34p
4 rashers of smoked bacon or pack of smoked lardons (optional) – 85p
Some fresh basil – about 1 big spoon, choppedly roughed – 15p
1 teaspooooon dried basil – 5p
1 teaspoon dried oregano – 5p
(or use some mixed herbs; tis all dandy)
A relatively small glass of red wine. I’m normally wankered when I cook with wine and this is no exception. Mine’s super dirt-cheap wine that I normally use just for cooking or giving to unsuspecting flatmates. – 70p for 120ml (yeah I told you it’s cheap wine). You can add more if you want, but I just like a small bit cos it can overpower stuff.
A beef stock cube, or a veg one if you’re just here for the sauce. You sauce whore, you. -6p
As much spaghetti or other pasta as you want. Like the entire student population of Britain, I too am awful at estimating portion sizes of spaghetti, so I’ll leave it up to you to decide your fate. I use wholewheat because I’m posh and scared of refined carbs.
Salt and Pepper
What u is doing
Get a meat-chopping board out and separate your sausages from each other using some scissors or something. Make a little cut in the end and squeeze out a bit of meat that’s about the size of a large cherry tomato, or around 1/1000th the volume of an African Bush Elephant if that makes things easier. Repeat for all the sausages til you have a little army of sausage balls at your command. You should get around 3 – 4 balls from each sausage. Not the usual order of the world, I know…
Put your splooge of oil in a big non-stick pan and heat it up while you’re chopping your onions and mushrooms (and whatever other veg you like at this point TBH).
Fry your balls on medium until they start to brown and then remove them from the pan and put them on a random plate – dw if they’re not completely cooked through yet, this sauce needs a good old simmer at the end, so plenny time for all that. Just make sure they’ve got a well nice bit of caramelisation on them on the outsides, shaking the pan a lot to get them evenly done. If you’re worried about fat content, which you shouldn’t be, given that sugar and white carbs are the enemy, you can put a bit of kitchen roll on the plate to absorb the nice, delicious fat. You flavour-hating monster.
Keep the pan on the heat. In the sausage fat that remains in the pan, fry the bacon if you’re using it and after a quick mo, add the onions. You might need a little more fat at this point, depending on how obese your sausages were to begin with and how much your bacon is leaking. Add the mushrooms and grated garlic, adding salt and pepper as needed, and stir round for a bit until the onions go soft. Normally, I just put the lid on and hide in the fridge for 5 minutes to surprise my flatmates (JOKE).
To this lovely oniony mengsel, add a whole box of passata, your paste/ketchup and a tin of chopped tommies. Add the beef stock cube (dissolve it in a lil bit of water first if it’s not a crumbly oxo one) and the wine, and stir well. Add your dried herbs (not the fresh stuff yet) and then the meatballs. Simmer this on relatively high heat til it’s a bit reduced and nice and thick (if it’s too thick for you, add a little bit of hot water), for about 10-15 mins. Season that shit again if it needs it. You are allowed to add a teaspoon of sugar at this point if it needs it to cut though the acidity, as it’s what a lot of Italian grandmothers do.
While this is simmering, do your pasta. I’m sure you require no instruction for this, but for those who don’t know (looking at you Jenny!), please SALT YOUR PASTA WATER THROUGHOULY and then after it’s done, rinse it and toss with olive oil and black pepper. Excellento.
Stir the chopped basil through the sauce just before you serve it.
I like to load my plate with pasta and add my sauce on top (as pictured) but you can do whatever you like. I’ve noticed there’s a gap in the market for spaghetti and meatball shampoo. You could be the first to invent this.
After you’ve eaten (or washed your hair) , the rest of the meatballs and sauce will be cool enough to portion up and freeze. This is just sooo nice as a quick tea; all you have to do is cook the pasta and you probs do that anyway so it’s like no extra effort to reheat the sauce during the week.
*I never have a dolmio day bc £1.99 for a jar of shitty, over-sugared tomato sauce just seems like madness when it’s so easy to do at home