- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp plain flour
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- sea salt flakes and freshly-milled black pepper
- ½ leek, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 600g pork mince
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 100g dried spiral pasta, cooked according to manufacturer’s instructions
- 2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ bunch basil leaves
- crusty bread and shaved Parmesan, to serve
1 Combine 1 Tbsp butter with the flour and nutmeg in a small saucepan and cook over a moderate heat until crumbly. Whisk in the milk and simmer until thickened, then stir in the Gruyere cheese and season with salt. Refrigerate until completely firm.
2 Sauté the leek, garlic and dried herbs in the remaining butter in a small saucepan until very soft, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl to cool. Add the pork mince, eggs and breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper, then mix very thoroughly. Add the cooked and cooled pasta, then mix to combine.
3 Use two teaspoons to form twenty cherry-sized balled of cheese sauce, arrange on a tray, then freeze until firm. Once solid, divide the meat mixture into twenty, and wrap one around each cheese ball, sealing firmly.
4 Pour the cherry tomatoes, sugar and vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside. Fry the meatballs in olive oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, turning often, until well-browned. Add the tomato sauce, turn the heat to low, then simmer for 5 minutes, until the meat balls are cooked through. Serve with basil leaves, crusty bread and shaved Parmesan.