- For the meatballs:
- 500 g lean pork mince
- 2 t Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1⁄2 onion, finely chopped
- Olive oil, for frying
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 baby leeks, cleaned and chopped
- 4 brown mushrooms, torn
- 1 T olive oil
- 400 g Woolworths organic wholewheat penne rigate
- 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup cream
- Parmesan, for serving
- Deep-fried basil leaves, for serving
Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, except the oil, in a bowl. Roll into balls and fry in a nonstick pan over a medium to high heat until golden. Finish off in the oven at 180° C to cook through.
Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over a low heat.
Heat a large pan over a medium to high heat. Fry the leeks and mushrooms in the olive oil until golden. Remove from the pan.
Add the penne to the pan and lightly fry until evenly coated with oil. Add a few ladles of stock and stir until absorbed over a fairly high heat. Repeat, gradually adding the stock, until the pasta is tender and swollen. This should take about 30 minutes.
Add the chilli, lemon juice and cream to the pan. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. Toss the meatballs and pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan. Season and garnish with basil.
Cook’s note: Cylindrical pasta shapes like penne are perfect for chunky sauces that get caught up in the tubes. I’m calling this risotto-pasta hybrid a rissasta! If you prefer your mushrooms with more texture, fry them separately in a little butter and toss through at the end.