Sunday Dinner stile Italiano

Okay, so this may not be the Italian way of doing things. But it is Tesco’s take on cooking with pasta, so I will pretend we are being all Italian!

Let me just add – although I would love a traditional English roast dinner on a Sunday, I have never actually attempted to cook a roast before. That’s right, in 40 years, I have NEVER COOKED A ROAST DINNER.

In my defence, I have spent a large proportion of my adult life living alone, or with only Ryan, so it has never seemed appropriate for one/two of us. I have eaten many roast dinners cooked by my family though, who are all far better in the kitchen than I could ever hope to be. So, to avoid any threat of food poisoning, I generally opt for an easier route.

Plus, Ryan loves pasta. So that is what I will be making. 

As you can see from the recipe below, it is by no means a difficult dish to prepare. For a normal person, anyway. I am not normal, and am certainly no domestic goddess! 

So here goes!

(Before I begin, I will be completely honest with you. I won’t be preparing the meatballs myself – I have bought the fresh, ready-made variety. When I’m feeling a little braver, I may attempt meatballs from scratch. But I’m pretty busy at work tomorrow, so I can’t risk a sick day!)

(Also, my version is highly unlikely going to look like the example above. That one was cooked by an expert!)


6 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped.         

2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 x 680g bottle tomato passata

50ml (2fl oz) dry white wine (optional)

For the meatballs:

500g (1lb) lean minced beef

50g (2oz) Parmesan, grated

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

30g (1oz) handful fresh white breadcrumbs

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley plus extra to serve

2 tbsp olive oil

400g (13oz) fresh tagliatelle

grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


1. First make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the passata and white wine, if using, and set aside. Simmer the sauce for 12-15 minutes until it has thickened.

2. Next, make the meatballs. In a large bowl, mix the minced beef, Parmesan, garlic, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, parsleytogether, season then mould into 12 meatballs (roughly 50g each).

3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat, add the meatballs and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until browned all over. Heat the sauce and stir the meatballs into the pan. Cover and simmer, over medium heat, for a further 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

4. While the meatballs cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the tagilatele for 2-3 minutes until al dente. Drain and serve with the tomato meatballs, sprinkled with parsley and extra Parmesan.

For the full recipe, 

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