Some days all you need is a bowl of pasta. I feel a little sorry for pasta these days. The ‘clean eating’ crowd have made it almost a sin to enjoy this much loved easy and simple ingredient. These guys have more or less put pasta under the same category of bad foods as frozen ready-meals. But pasta has been serving the Italians, and Mediterranean diets, perfectly well for a very long time. For me this is a key ingredient, it crops up on my meal plan once, or twice, a week as it is so versatile and is perfect for a quick yet delicious meal. This Pappardelle with Pork and Sage Meatballs in a Creamy Nutmeg and Spinach Sauce is the perfect example of that. I often make this on a Saturday night when I don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen but looking for a delicious meal to relax and enjoy a bottle of nice wine with. It is a perfect recipe that includes classic home cooking, comfort food and a relaxing way of eating. It is my style of cooking and it is most definitely not dirty..
Saying that I do respect that we cannot eat pasta every night of the week, as tempting as it might be. My Leek and Spinach Spaghetti Carbonara or a Chilli, Prawn and Rocket Linguine are favourite go to dishes but if I still want that pasta comfort food that is quick to make but cutting down on the number of times I am eating pasta that week then I like to make some Courgetti Meatballs. I don’t call it pasta, because it is not. It doesn’t even taste as good as pasta. But it’s healthy, it’s quick and it forms a balanced diet. For me that is real eating. And, more importantly, it is long lasting unlike most of these ridiculous fad diets because I don’t completely cut out the pasta.
I make the sage and pork meatballs with a little chilli flakes. I roll them up into just under half tablespoon sizes. They remind me a little of using Salsiccia. The sauce is very simple and is just cream, lemon juice and nutmeg. I cook the sauce with plenty of finely sliced leeks and then add some spinach at the end.
- Pappardelle (enough to serve 2)
- 200g pork mince
- 50g breadcrumbs
- Small bunch fresh sage (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 50ml single cream
- Juice of half a lemon
- 3 tbsp dry white wine
- Handful of fresh spinach
- Finely sliced leeks
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
- Salt/ Pepper
- Olive oil
- In a mixing bowl add the pork mince, sage, breadcrumbs and chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper and using your hands mix the ingredients together to form a ball and that everything is well combined. Take just under 1 tbsp size of the pork and roll into a small ball. Repeat until the mixture is finished.
- Heat a dash of olive oil in a large, deep pan. Once hot add the pork meatballs. Brown on each side for a couple of mins. Plate up and leave to one size.
- In the same pan add a little more olive oil and then add the leeks and garlic. Cook on a medium heat for around 5 mins until the leeks are softened. Pour in the cream and white wine, keeping on a medium heat. Add the nutmeg and lemon juice. Mix well.
- Tip the meatballs into the cream sauce. Mix everything together so that the meatballs are covered in the cream sauce. Cook on a medium heat for around 7 mins until the pork is cooked through.
- During this time put the pappardelle on to cook.
- Once the pork and pasta are almost done add the spinach. Stir into the cream sauce until just wilted. This will take only 1-2 mins.
- Take the pan off the heat. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the meatballs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything together so that the pasta is coated in the creamy meatballs. Serve right away.