Make your guests croon at the sight of these cute spaghetti and meatball nests that taste just as good as they look.
- 300 g spaghetti (see tip)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400 g tomato puree
- 2 tbsps red-wine vinegar
- 500 g turkey or chicken mince
- ½ cup dried breadcrumbs
- ? cup chopped basil, plus extra leaves to serve
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup grated parmesan, plus ½ cup extra
Preheat oven to hot, 200 C. Grease eight 1-cup muffin pan recesses.
In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti following packet instructions. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat half oil on medium. Sauté onion and garlic 4-5 mins. Spoon half into a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
Stir puree, half paste and vinegar into onion in frying pan. Bring to boil. Simmer 2 mins. Season.
Add mince, breadcrumbs, basil, 1 egg and remaining paste to cooled onion mixture. Season and mix well. Shape level tbsps mixture into balls
In a jug, whisk remaining eggs with parmesan and mix into pasta. Season. Divide among muffin holes, shaping into nests. Leave indent in centre.
Spoon 1 tbsp sauce into each nest and push 3 meatballs into each nest. Spoon remaining sauce over, sprinkle with extra parmesan.
Bake 20 to 25 mins until golden brown. Cool in pan 2 mins, then remove. Top with extra basil and serve with salad, if liked.
Top Tip: A pasta nest is made with cooked pasta, by lining a bowl or ramekin to form a “nest” shape. Sprinkle bake with sweet spices like nutmeg or cinnamon.
Photo: Scott Hawkins/bauersyndication.com.au