A pasta sauce with a kick both in flavour and heat is a tick in our books. Experimenting with a few spices, we love this end result which is a different take on traditional spaghetti bolognese with meatballs. Mace is a spice not often used in cooking, aside from gingerbread cookies and hidden in mixed spice. It actually comes from the outer layer of a nutmeg seed but has more of a pepper quality to it than its better known half.
Ingredients 400g pork and beef meatballs or mince
400g chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup red wine (cabernet or shiraz goes well)
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp oregano
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mace
1 tsp hot paprika
Pasta of your choice – fettucine goes well
Crush and finely chop the garlic, then chop the onion to your liking. Add the olive oil to a large non-stick frying pan and heat on med-high. Once hot, add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion begins to turn transparent.
Add the meatballs and sprinkle the fenugreek seeds, mace, hot paprika and oregano over them. Brown the meatballs, then add the red wine and bay leaves. Ensure the meat is rotated to soak up all the wine.
Once the liquid has been soaked up, add the chopped tomatoes and passata with a splash of red wine if you want (there is never enough wine) and a good pinch of pink salt.
Turn the heat to low, and stir through the sauce. Simmer for 10-20 minutes, topping up with water or passata if need be.
Fill a medium to large pot with boiling water, and bring back up to boil. Then add a large pinch of salt and bring to the boil once more. Add the pasta and cook al dente.
Strain the pasta, and serve into a bowl. Turn off the heat on the sauce, and spoon over the pasta. Add a small handful of parmesan flakes on top and serve.