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Miguel's bolognese of meatballs with orecchiette pasta

Category: food

Pack a punch of hearty flavours the whole family will enjoy. This fun take on bolognese will transport you straight to central Spain with the aroma of chorizo sweeping through the kitchen and tantalising the tastebuds. With carrot, mushroom, and leek laced through the dish, you’ll even get a serve of vegetables the kids won’t argue with. Finished with al dente orecchiette, this new family favourite will have you saying delicioso!



1. Preheat oven to 200°C (fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. To make the meatballs, place the chorizo, mushrooms, onion, garlic, parsley, chives, cream, salt, pepper, oil and chilli, if using, in a food processor and blend to a coarse paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl, add the beef mince and mix well with your hands. Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs, place on the prepared tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until browned.

3. Heat a good splash of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, carrot, leek and thyme and cook for a few minutes until softened. Pour in the passata and stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Add the meatballs to the sauce, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette pasta until al dente according to the packet instructions (I recommend cooking it for 40-60 seconds less than the instructions suggest, just to be on the safe side). Drain.

6. Toss the orecchiette pasta through the meatballs and sauce, garnish with the parmesan and herbs and serve.

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  • Serves: 4
  • Time needed: 1 hr 10 mins
  • Difficulty Easy


  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 400g orecchiette pasta
  • 1 brown onion, finely chipped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • ½ leek, 10cm trimmed off the top, well washed and finely chopped
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for pan-frying
  • Grated parmesan to serve
  • Basil to serve
  • Oregano to serve
  • 200g chorizo sausage, roughly chopped
  • 500g beef mince
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp thickened cream
  • 2 tsp salt flakes
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red chilli (optional)