Russell Norman’s recipe for Woman and the Tramp’s spaghetti with meatballs | Meals

One of Disney’s best-loved motion pictures is the 1955 traditional Woman and the Tramp, the story of a love affair between a classy uptown cocker spaniel dame and a downtown mutt (largely schnauzer, I’d guess, but it surely’s by no means decided). It’s a canine love story par excellence, and the defining scene takes place at Tony’s, a traditional New York Metropolis red-sauce joint: chequered tablecloths, candles in chianti bottles, breadsticks and, after all, spaghetti with meatballs. Everyone knows what occurs subsequent: the lovers have interaction with the identical strand of pasta and find yourself mouth-to-mouth, lip-to-lip, kiss-to-kiss. A greater metaphor for love I have no idea.

Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs

I’m positive that Woman and The Tramp was a heavy affect on the conception of Brutto, the Italian trattoria I opened in Clerkenwell in October 2021. Canine all the time welcome …

Prep 15 min
Soak 20 min
Cook dinner 1 hr 15 min
Serves 4

250g stale white bread, crusts eliminated
250ml milk
300g pork mince
(high-welfare, outdoor-reared, ideally)
Flaky sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp floor cinnamon
Additional-virgin olive oil
1 giant onion
, peeled and very finely diced
1 giant celery stick, peeled and very finely diced
1 giant carrot, peeled and very finely diced
500ml passata
350g dried spaghetti
– any respectable model
Numerous grated
parmesan, to serve

Break the bread into small chunks, put in a bowl with the milk and go away to soak for 20 minutes. Squeeze dry and put aside.

Put the pork in a big bowl, generously season, then add the cinnamon and squeezed-out bread and blend along with your arms till completely mixed. Together with your arms, pinch off items of the meatball combine and roll them into small balls – suppose the dimensions of a gooseberry – and put aside.

Put glug of oil in a big, flat-bottomed pan on a low warmth, then gently saute the onion, celery and carrot with somewhat salt and pepper, stirring sometimes, for about 10 minutes – do not let it flip brown. Add the passata and prepare dinner, nonetheless on a low warmth so it reduces slowly, for about 20 minutes, till thickened.

Drop the meatballs into the sauce and go away to bubble gently for about quarter-hour, till they’re cooked by means of. Relying on the dimensions of the pan, if the meatballs aren’t fairly submerged, you might want so as to add somewhat extra passata (and even water) to loosen the sauce somewhat.

Whereas the meatballs and sauce are simmering, prepare dinner the spaghetti in boiling salted water in line with the packet directions, then drain.

Stir the drained pasta into the meatball pan, toss the whole lot collectively, then style and alter the seasoning, if essential, and stir in a splash extra olive oil. Divide between 4 beautiful plates, apply a number of grated parmesan and ensure you invite your canine.

Russell Norman is proprietor of Brutto, London EC1, and writer of Brutto: A (Easy) Florentine Cookbook, revealed on 2 November by Ebury at £32. To order a replica for £26.67, go to

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