Zite with Meatballs and Tomato Mushroom Sauce

Serve Zite with Meatballs and Tomato Mushroom Sauce as a main meal with lots of crusty bread, green salad and red zoine.

4 SERVINGS

1 teaspoon salt

1 lb. zite

1 oz. butter

MEATBALLS

K lb. beef or pork, minced

2 slices white bread, soaked in

4 tablespoons milk for

5 minutes

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

2 oz. dried breadcrumbs

1 large egg

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoons dried oregano

2 fl. oz. olive oil

8 oz. Italian sausages, cut into

1-inch lengths

SAUCE

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

4 oz. fresh peas, weighed after shelling

28 oz. canned peeled Italian tomatoes

6 fl. oz. red wine

5 oz. tomato puree

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

First make the meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients except the oil and sausages, beating well with a fork until they are well mixed. Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place the balls in a large shallow plate and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the mushrooms and peas and fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with the can juice, the wine, tomato puree, salt, pepper and oregano and stir well to mix. Bring the liquid to the boil over moderately high beat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs, a few at a time, and fry, turning occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly and evenly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meatballs to the saucepan containing the sauce. Brown the remaining meatballs and the sausage pieces in the same way. Return the saucepan to low heat and simmer the mixture for a further 30 minutes.

Add the cheese slices to the pan and continue to simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Meanwhile, half-Jill a large saucepan with water and add the teaspoon of salt. Set the pan over moderately high heat and bring the water to the boil. When the water boils, add the zite to the pan. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook the zite for 10 to 15 minutes or until the zite is ‘al dente’ or just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the zitc in a colander.

Transfer the zite to a large serving bowl and add the butter. Using two large spoons, gently toss the zite until all the strands are well coated. Remove the pan containing the sauce and meatballs from the heat. Pour the mixture over the zite and serve at once.

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