LAMB MINCE BALLS IN A MARSALA SAUCE
This dish is not for every day, it’s for when you’re sad and you need a hug, or it’s when you’re happy and you want to celebrate. It is a dish when you’re in love and suck spaghetti and kiss at the end. It will leave you smacking shiny, salty lips and rub your belly. I promise you, you will love this dish. I know I do.
If you haven’t come across it before, Marsala is a fortified wine and it can be dry or sweet. For cooking savoury dishes, I use the dry marsala type. Both dry and sweet Marsala come from and are produced around Marsala (funny that) which is a city in Sicily.
If you don’t have Marsala, I would suggest you use vermouth, or brandy, or even white wine. If you wanted to go completely mad, I guess you could give it a bash with some Buckfast, but don’t hold me responsible for any of the guaranteed post-dinner shenanigans!
As per my recent lamb mince and tatties recipe, I do recommend you use the best lamb mince you can possibly find, I tend to go between Clonanny Farm, Kilmullen Farm, or Achill Mountain lamb and I can’t go wrong with any of these. They truly are world-class meat producing farms.
- 500 g of lamb mince
- fresh spaghetti for 2
- 2 tablespoons of dry oregano
- salt and cracked black pepper
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 bottle of double cream (between 23o and 250 ml)
- 1 glass of dry marsala
- 1 handful of pine nuts
- Plunge the spaghetti in boiling water for no more than a minute and rinse them in cold water then drain and reserve. This will ensure they are not soggy or sticky.
- In a bowl, mix the minced meat with the oregano, salt and pepper, and the grated garlic.
- Form the mince into balls the size you enjoy best, I like them quite small so I can just pop them in my mouth. I’m greedy that way.
- Fry them in a bit of oil for about 5 min on medium heat. I like my lamb rare and I trust the quality and provenance of the meat 100% which allows me to eat the mince somewhat rare (well medium rare as it’s quite fatty and you want the fat to render). This means that when once side is nice and brown, I fire up the heat and turn the meatballs and cook them for no more than one minute on the other side. I then take them out of the pan and reserve them while I make the sauce.
- Deglaze the pan with the glass of marsala and make sure to lift all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, once that’s done add the cream and let it bubble up for a minute then toss the spaghetti in the sauce and warm them up in it.
- Once you have plated your warm pasta, throw your meatballs in the sauce and make sure they are covered in it before adding them to your pasta.
- Pour the rest of the sauce over your food and distribute the pine nuts on each plate.