Das Eierbrot and Spaghetti with Meatballs

World Cup, Day 10 & 11 – Germany & U.S.A.
Das Eierbrot and Spaghetti with Meatballs

Day 10 is the first time I’ve struggled to fulfill my challenge as we had a hectic day but I managed to cheat and prepare a German ‘dish’ – Das Eierbrot: an open faced sandwich topped with butter and egg. It’s simple yet satisfying. With an easy dish like this, it’s important to use the right ingredients. Get some good sour dough bread and cover with real butter, no spreadable or heart friendly stuff here please! Then slice a hard boiled egg and place it on top with a sprinkling of salt and pepper – beautiful!

Today, Day 11, I wanted to make something from the U.S.A. It was a tough choice: a nation the size of a continent has several dishes to choose from! I decided on spaghetti with meatballs in a tomato sauce. Most people think this is Italian but it’s actually from the U.S.A. Although spaghetti and meatballs are staples of Italian cuisine, they are never served together. Spaghetti with tomato sauce is served as a pasta course, followed by the meatballs as a meat course. Italian chef Paolo Tullio on his Newstalk slot with Sean Moncrieff explained recently that when working in New York, the Italian’s would bring a packed lunch of spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs. Although the Italians looked upon this as two separate courses, Americans understood it as one meal.

I always make a big batch of meatballs and freeze half of them before cooking. The meatballs should be about golf ball size. Half of the meatballs with the sauce will serve 4-5 people.

Makes 28-30 Meatballs

2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Onions (finely chopped)
2 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
500g Beef Mince
500g Pork Mince
1 Egg (beaten)
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

For the Sauce:

6 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion (finely chopped)
1 clove of Garlic (finely chopped)
1 Chilli (finely chopped)
1 Carrot (Grated)
1 stick of Celery (finely chopped)

2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
1 tsp Sugar
1tsp Dried Oregano
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese (grated)
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Spaghetti to Serve

1. Make the meatballs by heating half the oil in a pan and adding the onion and garlic. Season well and cook for 6-7 minutes to soften. Set aside and allow to cool completely. 

2. Put the beef and pork mince into a mixing bowl and season well. Add the cooled onion mixture and egg and mix well. With wet hands, shape into golf balls. Use half the meatballs to serve 4-5 people and place the rest in the freezer. Let the meatballs you’re using chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile make the sauce by heating the oil in a saucepan and adding the onion, garlic, chilli, carrot and celery. Season well and cook for 6-7 minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes, sugar and oregano. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a clean pan over a high heat and fry the meatballs on all sides to brown. Add the meatballs to a baking dish and pour over the sauce to cover. Cook in a 180 degree oven for 10 minutes before sprinkling over the Parmesan. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve over spaghetti topped with more Parmesan if you like.

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