Serves: 4

For the sauce:

  • 100g butter
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 500g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed

For the polpette:

  • 500g sausage meat
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 Tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp olive oil

To serve:

  • 350g bucatini
  • Small handful basil leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

You'll need:

  • Sauté pan
  • Frying pan
  • Saucepan


  1. Add the butter and oil to a sauté pan over a low heat. Once melted, add the tomatoes, thyme and garlic. Allow to simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have softened completely. Use a fork to lightly press the tomatoes down.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the polpette, apart from the oil,in a medium-sized bowl. Using damp hands, shape into balls about the size of a walnut. You're aiming for thirty.
  3. Add oil to another pan over medium heat and fry the meatballs for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally to brown all sides. While they are cooking, cook the pasta.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt the water well and add the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes or according to packet instructions until al dente.
  5. Transfer the rough tomato sauce to the meatballs and bring to a steady simmer until the meatballs get nicely coated.
  6. Using tongs, transfer the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss through. Serve sprinkled with basil leaves and grated Parmesan.