Spaghetti with chicken meatballs in roast capsicum sauce

This recipe came together when I made roast capsicum soup. It was so deliciously rich I had to mellow it out with some bread and water. But I only did that to half the batch, because I realised it would make a beautiful sauce for chicken meatballs. It really cries out for either basil or parsley. I love basil, but sadly, my beloved does not, so I made these with parsley. You can use basil if you’d like. Just as with the roast capsicum soup, this dish is perfectly finished with the one day old marinaded cheese from Bruny Island Cheese Co. You can use some other fresh marinaded cheese, but it should be from cow milk, not goat. You could use a nice bocconcini if you’d like, but the stringiness will mean it won’t disperse through the sauce as well.

Serves 3

100 grams spaghetti
250 grams chicken mince
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon onion flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red capsicum
1 large mild red chilli
1 small hot red chilli
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 generous pinch salt
2 tablespoons fresh cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 250oC. Rub the capsicum, chillies, onion and garlic with a little olive oil. Place on a foil lined oven tray and roast till the skins are charred. Remove from the oven as each vegetable is cooked. Place in a large bowl and cover with a lid till they are cool enough to touch. Peel the skin and remove the seeds of the capsicum and large chilli. Remove the top of the small chilli. Squeeze the flesh from the garlic cloves, and peel the onion. Blitz all these ingredients in a food processor with the white wine.

To make the meatballs, combine the chicken mince, parsley and onion flakes in a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. When it’s hot, use a wet teaspoon to scoop small meatballs from the mix. Roll them in the palm of your hand to make them round and brown them all over in the hot oil. When all the meatballs are browned, pour over the sauce and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti according to packet directions.

Divide the spaghetti between serving bowls. Evenly distribute the meatballs and pour over the sauce. Serve with fresh cheese and garnish with a parsley leaf.

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