1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the pork and beef mince with the fennel seeds, chilli, 1 tsp oregano and some seasoning in a large bowl until combined. Divide and shape into 18 meatballs with a nugget or two of taleggio in the middle (save some for the top), then chill for 10 mins.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan (use a flameproof casserole dish if you can – it’ll save on washing up). Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sizzle until softened (about 8 mins). Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then add the tomato purée, wine, tomatoes, passata, bay leaves, sugar, the remaining oregano and lots of seasoning, then cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins. Meanwhile, arrange the meatballs on a baking tray lined with foil, drizzle with the remaining oil and bake for 10 mins.
3. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving some water. If the pan isn't ovenproof, tip the sauce into a casserole dish. Stir the pasta into the sauce, along with the liquid from the meatballs and some pasta water if it needs thinning. Turn the grill to a medium-high setting.
4. Nestle the meatballs into the pasta, so that they poke out the top. Scatter the remaining taleggio over the top and grill for 5-10 mins until the cheese and meatballs are golden. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.
Credit: Cassie Best
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 30 Minutes
300g pork mince
400g beef mince (with around 10% fat)
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
200g taleggio or mozzarella, chopped into small chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion , finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp tomato purée
50ml red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
2 tsp golden caster sugar
400g macaroni or other pasta shape
Crusty bread, to serve (optional)