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How to make perfect meatballs

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One of the more easily achieved elements of a gangster's lifestyle is their rich Italian cuisine.

While you may never gain the respect of minions or put someone in your car boot, creating a perfect dish of meatballs is reassuringly within your reach.

You might need our help first. We spoke to the chefs at delicious "small plates" restaurant Assaggetti, who gave us this unbeatable recipe.

If you don't like it then we fully expect a horse's head tomorrow morning.

Recipe for 4

500 grams of lean minced beef

50 grams parmesan

2 egg yolks (medium)

500 grams peeled tomato / or canned tomatoes

200 grams of white sliced bread

½ medium sized onion

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

1 small brunch of parsley (chopped)

1 medium chilli

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Method

Meatballs

1. Add the bread to a bowl and add just enough water to cover and leave for 5 minutes to soak.

2. Add the mince, egg yolks, parsley, (put some to one side for a garnish) parmesan, bread and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl and mix all together by hand until all the ingredients are moulded together

3. Pre-heat the oven

4. Once the ingredients are well mixed together separate into 12 balls (size of a golf ball)

5. Place the balls on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, put in to the centre of the oven and cook for 10 minutes at 200 degrees and leave to rest

Tomato sauce

1. Peel and chop the half onion, tomatoes (if using fresh tomatoes), chopped chilli, season to taste and simmer on a medium heat for 10 minutes

2. Add the cooked meat balls to the pan with the tomato sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the meat balls are heated through

3. Arrange 3 balls per person on a serving plate and cover with the tomato sauce and garnish with chopped parsley

(Image: Rex Features)

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