You don’t need to splash out on eating out to enjoy a bit of culture. You can enjoy such a feast in your home with this adapted version of the Italian classic –friendly to the student budget, of course.
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Chop one medium onion and two cloves of garlic, then place in a bowl.
3. Add your minced meat to the bowl (about a third of a 800g or half a 500g pack). Add a bit of pepper, salt and any other herbs you wish to prevent any blandness. Mix all together with your hands.
4. In another bowl place some plain flour. Gather some of the minced meat in your hands and roll into a ball smaller than the size of a golf ball. Then roll in the flour and place them all on a foil-lined baking tray (some people also use egg, so see how the flour works at binding the meatballs together and coat in whisked egg if necessary).
This makes a portion for two, so you could use half and refrigerate half to eat the next day on a cling-filmed plate.
5. Cook for about 30 minutes. Turning them over about half way through. If you are not a perfectionist, it could be worth halving one of the meat balls to check that they are cooked on the inside.
6. But, when the meatballs are nearly done you should start cooking the pasta. Use boiling water from the kettle and vary the portion of spaghetti depending on how hungry you are. It should take about 15 minutes. Check that they are soft before serving.
7. When the meatballs are cooked and your spaghetti is nearly ready, place the meatballs in a saucepan with a tin of chopped tomatoes (but first drain the juice into a jug and add a bit to the pan after the actual tomatoes so it is not as runny). If you wish, fry up some more onions, mushrooms or courgettes to go with the meatballs. Add salt, pepper and any herbs like basil, for example.
8. Drain and rinse the spaghetti, and plate up. Scoop up your meatballs and place them on top of the spaghetti before adding the rest of the sauce.
9. Top with cheese if you fancy. Garlic bread is a nice accompaniment: aim to cook this for about 15 minutes or 30 minutes if frozen, so check your timing beforehand.
The great thing about this recipe is that it can be adapted for intolerances. Simply use rice flour and wheat free spaghetti for wheat/gluten intolerances and stay away from the cheese if you are intolerant to dairy.
It may not be the easiest of meals to eat in a sophisticated manner but it is delicious!