Our version of this comfort food classic mixes ground pork with creamy ricotta for some out-of-this-world meatballs. Toss them with spaghettini and a rich, ready-in-minutes tomato sauce. The result is the culinary equivalent of a warm hug!
Cooking time30 minutes
Calories960 / serving
Allergens: Milk, Wheat
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water; stir gently to separate. Boil, 6 to 8 minutes, until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ½ cup cooking water (double for 4 portions), drain the pasta thoroughly. Toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent sticking and set aside in a warm spot. Reserve the pot.
While the pasta boils, mince the garlic. In a medium bowl, combine the ground pork and ricotta; season with ½ the spice blend and S&P. Using your hands, form the pork mixture into 8 meatballs (double for 4 portions) about the size of a golf ball. In a large pan, heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high. Add the meatballs and cook, partially covered, turning over occasionally, 9 to 11 minutes, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm spot, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. Reserve the pan.
In the reserved pan of fond, heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high. Add ½ the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes; season with the remaining spice blend and S&P. Reduce the heat and simmer, breaking the tomatoes apart with a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the spinach and cook, 1 to 2 minutes, until wilted; season with S&P.
To the pan of sauce, add the cooked meatballs. Heat the reserved pot on medium; add 2 tbsp butter (double for 4 portions) and the remaining garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta and reserved cooking water; cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, until combined. Season with S&P. Divide the garlic-butter pasta between your bowls. Top with the meatballs and sauce. Bon appétit!
Health Canada recommends cooking Ground pork to a minimum internal temperature of 71°C