Calabrian macaroni and meatballs

This is another of my family recipes from my book The Flesh in My Life. This gives readers the opportunity to try making their own pasta which is easy and fun to make. Get the grandchildren involved for a fun day in the kitchen. Food made with love and little hands is always the best!

Serves 4 to 6



  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tspn WA lake salt
  • 2 tblspn olive oil
  • 1 egg beaten with a fork
  • ¾ cup water (approx.)


  • 500gm minced chicken
  • 500gm crust less bread soaked in some water than squeezed out
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano
  • ¼ cup dry fresh breadcrumbs
  • 30gm flat leaf parsley chopped finely
  • WA lake salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper


  • 30ml olive oil
  • 50gm butter
  • 140gm onion finely diced
  • 2 bottles of Passata (700ml each)

Method – Macaroni

  1. In a large bowl add the flour and salt and mix them well.
  2. Make a well in the centre then add the oil, egg and water together
  3. Slowly mix the flour into the liquids in the well. Mix thoroughly adding a little more water if needed.
  4. Knead the dough for about five minutes then cover with a cloth.
  5. Cut a small section from the dough and roll it out by hand to the size of a sausage roll on a board.
  6. Divide this into 2cm rounds. Dip your hands in a little olive oil and roll the pieces out on a board until they are long even strands.
  7. Put the strands on a cloth covered tray and repeat the process until all the dough is rolled out.
  8. Keep them covered with a cloth until its time to cook.

Method – Meatballs

  1. Mix all the ingredients together then form the mix into balls the size of golf balls. Fry a little of the mixture to check seasoning.
  2. Refrigerate them for at least two hours to firm them up – they will be very soft and delicate.
  3. Heat the pot and add oil, butter and onion. Gently sauté until the onion is soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).

Method – Sauce and plating

  1. Add the passata to the pot. Using 200ml water rinse out the empty passata bottles and add to the pot as well.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the meatballs and continue to gently simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
  5. Meanwhile bring salted water to a boil and cook your macaroni for about 10 minutes until al dente.
  6. Remove the meatballs from the sauce and place gently on a plate.
  7. Drain the pasta and toss into the sauce.
  8. Place with some meatballs and grated parmesan.

Buon Appetito!