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Chianti Baked Meatballs


  • For the meatballs

  • 500g/ 1lb 2oz minced beef

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 50g/ 1 ¾ oz stoned black olives, chopped

  • 50 g/ 1 ¾ oz breadcrumbs

  • 25g/ 1oz finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 lightly beaten egg

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped

  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 250ml/ 9fl oz Chianti red wine

  • 2 x 400g/ 14oz tins of chopped tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar

  • a large handful of chopped basil

  • To serve

  • Rigatoni


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 220°C/ fan 200°C/ gas 7.

  • 2.

    Using your hands, mix all the meatball ingredients together really well. Using wet hands divide the mixture into about twelve meatballs. Lightly toss the meatballs in olive oil in an ovenproof sauté pan or roasting tray (one that is big enough for meatballs but not so small they squashed together or so big that the liquid evaporates too quickly).

  • 3.

    Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes. Then pour over the Chianti, turning the meatballs so they are coated in red wine. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.

  • 4.

    Then stir in the chopped tomatoes, sugar and basil. Cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and thickened.

  • 5.

    Cook the rigatoni according to pack instructions.

  • 6.

    Serve straight away with rigatoni and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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