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Sicilian Pasta with Tiny Meatballs: Date Added: 13 Nov 2009
Listed in: Pasta


2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 x 28 oz cans whole tomatoes in juice
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Oil, for baking sheet
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 large egg yolk, beaten to mix
1 small garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted and chopped
1 tbsp dried currants, chopped
1 1/2 lb. gemelli or other long pasta shape

Cooking Instructions


Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes with juices and 2 tbsp. basil and bring to boil. Reduce heat, breaking up tomatoes with fork. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Mix in remaining 1 tbsp. basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil two baking sheets. Mix crumbs and milk in medium bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Mix in Parmesan, onion, basil, egg yolk, garlic and pepper. Add sausage, pine nuts and currants and blend well. Using wet hands, form mixture into 1/2-inch balls.

Put them on baking sheets. Bake for about 30 minutes or until meatballs are light brown and cooked through. You’ll need to shift the pans in the oven halfway through cooking time. Gently stir meatballs into sauce.

Bring sauce and meatballs to a simmer. Cook gemelli in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain and mound on a platter. Spoon the sauce and meatballs over the pasta.

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