How to make spaghetti nests with meatballs

How to make spaghetti nests: Enzo, with a chance of meatballs: From upstairs I can hear pots and pans being moved around in the kitchen.

It seems that Enzo has been watching cooking programmes on TV this morning and although he is preparing meatballs, apparently he has learned of a pasta dish that he can enjoy for breakfast! Ummm, can’t wait to see what that might be. 

Meanwhile, when I arrive in the kitchen he is already preparing fresh breadcrumbs:

Spaghetti nests with meatballs – for quite a few nests

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons Enzo’s olive oil
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, peeled but whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons green pesto sauce
  • 1 sausage, without the skin, roughly chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 kg dry spaghetti
  • 3 eggs, cracked into a small bowl
  • 2 – 3 oz fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Boil a pan of lightly salted water and cook the spaghetti al dente.
  2. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop it cooking then leave it drain to one side.
  3. In a frying pan add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the peppers, garlic, cinnamon, pesto, sausage and salt.
  4. Saute slowly over a medium to low heat until the peppers softened and the sausage is cooked through.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C / 375F.
  6. Arrange 6 – 7 rings on a baking tray (Enzo used my mini springforms without the bottoms but you could also use a large muffin tray).
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the spaghetti with the sausage and peppers.
  8. Add the eggs and combine everything carefully making sure to keep the spaghetti whole.
  9. Start adding the breadcrumbs a level tablespoon at a time, mixing at each addition until all of the moisture is absorbed.
  10. Place in the centre of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the tops begin to brown and crisp.
  11. Serve drizzled with the rest of the olive oil.
  12. Enzo served ours with the meatballs that he was preparing at the same time which places it under the heading of ‘secondi’ meaning the main dish. However, served without these pretty spaghetti nests would make the perfect ‘primi’ or first course – after the antipasto of course.

Enzo’s recipe has proved to be rather popular around here so there are more opportunities to savour ‘Enzo, with a chance of meatballs’ recipe … and he has been tweaking with it:

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