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Russell Norman’s recipe for Girl and the Tramp’s spaghetti with meatballs | Meals

One of Disney’s best-loved motion pictures is the 1955 basic Girl and the Tramp, the story of a love affair between a complicated uptown cocker spaniel dame and a downtown mutt (largely schnauzer, I’d guess, but it surely’s by no means decided). It’s a canine love story par excellence, and the defining scene takes place at Tony’s, a basic New York Metropolis red-sauce joint: chequered tablecloths, candles in chianti bottles, breadsticks and, in fact, spaghetti with meatballs. Everyone knows what occurs subsequent: the lovers interact with the identical strand of pasta and find yourself mouth-to-mouth, lip-to-lip, kiss-to-kiss. A greater metaphor for love I have no idea.

Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs

I’m certain that Girl and The Tramp was a heavy affect on the conception of Brutto, the Italian trattoria I opened in Clerkenwell in October 2021. Canine at all times welcome …

Prep 15 min
Soak 20 min
Cook dinner 1 hr 15 min
Serves 4

250g stale white bread, crusts eliminated
250ml milk
300g pork mince
(high-welfare, outdoor-reared, ideally)
Flaky sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp floor cinnamon

Further-virgin olive oil
1 massive onion
, peeled and very finely diced
1 massive celery stick, peeled and very finely diced
1 massive carrot, peeled and very finely diced
500ml passata
350g dried spaghetti
– any first rate model
A lot of grated
parmesan, to serve

Break the bread into small chunks, put in a bowl with the milk and depart to soak for 20 minutes. Squeeze dry and put aside.

Put the pork in a big bowl, generously season, then add the cinnamon and squeezed-out bread and blend together with your fingers till totally mixed. Together with your fingers, pinch off items of the meatball combine and roll them into small balls – assume the scale of a gooseberry – and put aside.

Put a very good glug of oil in a big, flat-bottomed pan on a low warmth, then gently saute the onion, celery and carrot with a bit of salt and pepper, stirring sometimes, for about 10 minutes – do not let it flip brown. Add the passata and cook dinner, nonetheless on a low warmth so it reduces slowly, for about 20 minutes, till thickened.

Drop the meatballs into the sauce and depart to bubble gently for about quarter-hour, till they’re cooked by way of. Relying on the scale of the pan, if the meatballs aren’t fairly submerged, chances are you’ll want so as to add a bit of extra passata (and even water) to loosen the sauce a bit of.

Whereas the meatballs and sauce are simmering, cook dinner the spaghetti in boiling salted water in line with the packet directions, then drain.

Stir the drained pasta into the meatball pan, toss every part collectively, then style and alter the seasoning, if needed, and stir in a splash extra olive oil. Divide between 4 beautiful plates, apply numerous grated parmesan and ensure you invite your canines.

Russell Norman is proprietor of Brutto, London EC1, and writer of Brutto: A (Easy) Florentine Cookbook, revealed on 2 November by Ebury at £32. To order a duplicate for £26.67, go to guardianbookshop.com

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