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Al Brown's Roasted Pork Meatballs with Fennel and Casarecce Pasta

Posted on March 05, 2014 by Jo Freeman | 0 comments

Rustic and humble, this sort of dish is perfect for a rainy cold Sunday lunch. And you can get the kids help with rolling the pork meatballs!

Serves 6

Step 1. Meatballs

Ingredients…

1 kg Harrington's minced pork
1 tsp garlic 
2 Tbl fennel seeds (toasted and ground)
1 benniks free range egg
1/4 cup Italian Parsley (roughly chopped)
Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

Method…

Place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and with clean hands work all the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Form and roll meatballs to about half the size of a golf ball. Place them on a tray lined with glad wrap and refrigerate until required.

Step 2. Roast Fennel

Ingredients…

1 kg fennel (green tips removed)
1/4 Cup Al Brown & Co Olive Oil
Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

Method…

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Slice the fennel with the grain, into 5mm thick rounds. Toss the fennel in a bowl with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper, until it’s all evenly coated. Place in a roasting dish and cook for 20 minutes until caramelized and tender. Remove from the oven and keep warm.

Step 3. Cooking and Serving

Ingredients…

2 Tbl canola oil
Meatballs
1 cup brown onions (finely dice)
3 garlic (minced)
pinch chilli flakes
1 Tbl fennel seeds (toasted and ground)
2 Tbl tomato paste 
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (roughly chopped)
Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper 
500 gm Bongusto casarrece pasta 
2 Tbl olive oil
Roasted Fennel
1/2 cup Italian Parsley (roughly chopped) 
Parmesan Cheese (shaved)

Method…

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place a large saucepan of salted water on the heat and bring to a boil.

Place a large skillet on high heat and add the meatballs, browning them quickly in a couple of batches. Then remove them from the skillet and hold. Turn the skillet down to a medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until tender. Then add the chilli flakes, fennel seed and tomato paste, cook for a further minute. Now deglaze the skillet with red wine, add the brown sugar and the tinned tomatoes. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, return the meatballs to the skillet and place them in the sauce. Move the skillet into the hot oven and roast the meatballs for 15 minutes or until meatballs feel firm. Remove the skillet from the oven and keep warm.

For the pasta, empty into the seasoned boiling water. Cook the pasta for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil, roasted fennel, parsley and seasoning.

Spoon the pasta and fennel onto a large serving platter, followed by the hot meatballs and sauce. Finally, finish the dish with freshly shaved parmesan cheese.

And you’re ready to serve!

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