When you are running short of time and have some very sensitive taste buds to feed, cooking becomes quite a challenge. Most of the times I try to tweak recipes so that the taste is retained but cooking time is less than normal.
One day my son read this Horrid Henry book where Henry was feasting on spaghetti and meat balls. That sounded pretty appetising to him and soon the demand came for spaghetti and meat balls for the very next meal.
A little bit of reading up revealed that this dish can be a breeze to make, with minor changes. So instead of making the sauce from scratch I prepared a mix of pasta sauce and tomato puree. My son prefers chicken over mutton which further reduced the cooking time.
With four gas burners, this quick recipe of spaghetti and chicken balls was ready in less than an hour – from start to finish.
Spaghetti and Chicken (Meat) Balls that are ready in a breeze using very basic ingredients.
For the spaghetti:
Spaghetti - 1 inch bundle
Pasta sauce - 3 tbsp
Tomato puree - 3 tbsp
Onion - 1 medium sized
Garlic - 6-7 cloves
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
For chicken balls:
Chicken keema - 200 gm
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Garlic cloves - 4 - 5
Green chilli - 2-5 no
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Coriander - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying
Heat water in a large dish. Add half a teaspoon of salt and allow to boil. When the water boils add the spaghetti and allow to cook. Cook till the spaghetti is 3/4 done. Turn off the heat. Leave in water for 10 minutes and then pour out the water.
Reserve the water to correct the sauce consistency.
As the spaghetti boils you can prepare the chicken balls.
In a mixer jar add the garlic, ginger, green chilli and coriander and grind.
In the same jar add the onion and salt and grind roughly.
Now add half of the chicken keema and grind everything.
Grind the rest of the keema in a second batch.
Place the ground keema and spices in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a large spoon.
Heat oil in a pan.
Make small lemon sized balls of the keema and fry.
Don’t forget to check your boiling spaghetti. You would have to remove the spaghetti from the water and reserve the liquid for the sauce.
Fry the balls evenly till brown.
When done remove from pan.
We will need these after the sauce is done.
While the chicken balls fry you can prepare the sauce.
Place the onion and garlic in a mixer jar and grind coarsely.
Heat olive oil in a deep wok or any thick bottom and deep dish.
When the oil is hot add the ground onion and garlic. Cook the onion/garlic till slightly dry.
Check the frying chicken balls. You might need to stir them a bit.
When the onion and garlic mix has lost its moisture add the tomato puree and pasta sauce.
Add some of the reserved liquid from the boiled spaghetti. Check the consistency. It must neither be runny nor very thick.
Allow the sauce to boil for five minutes. Add the salt and then the boiled spaghetti.
Stir well with a spoon to evenly mix the sauce and spaghetti.
Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to a serving dish, add the chicken balls and give a final but gentle stir.
Spaghetti n chicken balls are ready to be relished.
If you wish, you can sprinkle some grated parmesan too.