Simon says that this is essentially a posh version of spaghetti and meatballs and goes down a treat with his family.


Serves: 4

500g Dried Tagliatelle

For the meatballs

  • 125g breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Pinch of dried sage
  • 450g ground beef
  • 450g ground pork
  • 2 free-range eggs

For the ragu:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, finely slices
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 X 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 50g Parmesan, grated


  1. We’ll start with the meatballs. When you’re cooking with meat, it’s important to start with the meat at room temperature, so take the meat out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you start.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200°C and prep a roasting tray by lining it with tinfoil and rubbing a little olive oil on it.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, crushed garlic, diced onion, salt, parsley, basil, oregano, pepper and the sage. Mix together.
  4. Add the ground beef and pork, and the eggs, then gently mix these through. Using your hands (get stuck in there!), scoop out the meat mixture and roll into meatballs.
  5. You’re looking for a size smaller than a golf ball, and you should get around 25 meatballs from this quantity.
  6. Place the meatballs on to your roasting tray. Pour a cup of hot water around the meatballs, and cover them loosely with another sheet of tinfoil. Pop them into the oven and cook for around 25 minutes.
  7. While this is cooking, let’s get the sauce started. Into a large pot, drop in a little olive oil, and when warm add in the leek, onion, peppers and the garlic.
  8. Sweat these down for about 10 minutes; you just want the veg to soften slightly. Add in the tin of tomatoes and stir through.
  9. Then add your chicken stock.When the meatballs have had 25 minutes in the oven, remove them and pop them into the sauce.
  10. On a low heat, let these bubble away for a good 90 minutes. A couple of minutes before you serve, add a little of the grated Parmesan into the sauce.
  11. Pop the pasta into a pot of boiling water, add a little salt and a drop of olive oil, and cook as per instructions on the package.
  12. When ready, drain the pasta, keep a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquor and add these to the ragu.
  13. Drop the pasta into the meatballs and ragu pot, and stir through gently.Serve in large bowls, sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan, and treat yourself to some good garlic bread alongside.