Spaghetti and Clonakilty Blackpudding Meatballs

Spaghetti and Clonakilty Blackpudding Meatballs

Serves: 4Prep Time: Cook Time:

Spaghetti and meatballs are the ultimate family favourite. Add some Clonakilty Blackpudding for a flavoursome twist on this Italian classic. Too good to share!


250g Clonkailty Blackpudding (gluten-free if necessary)

400ml cold water

2 onions (approx. 300g)

45g beef dripping or 3 x 15ml tbsp olive oil

2 fat cloves of garlic

3 x 15ml tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp dried thyme

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

1 x 15ml tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free if necessary)

2 tsp sea salt flakes (or 1 tsp fine sea salt)

For the meatballs:

500g minced beef (not low fat)

2 fat cloves of garlic

3 x 15ml tbsp finely chopped parsley, plus more to serve

2 x 15ml tbsp finely chopped chives, plus more to serve

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp sea salt flakes (or 1 tsp fine sea salt)

a very good grinding of pepper

¼ tsp dried chilli flakes

2 x 15ml tbsp porridge oats (not jumbo, gluten-free if necessary)

2x large eggs, at room temperature


  1. Take the minced beef and black pudding out of the fridge so they lose their chill while you get on with the sauce. Pour 400ml of cold water into a measuring jug and put it by the stove in readiness.
  2. To make the sauce, peel and roughly chop the onions. Melt your dripping or warm the oil in a large heavy-based casserole – I use one of 26cm diameter – then add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring every now and then, for about 15 minutes, or until beginning to soften and get golden in parts. If you want to do this for longer on low heat, do, after you’ve given them a 5-minute start on medium.
  3. While the onions are cooking, peel the garlic and finely chop 3 tablespoons’ worth of parsley. When the onions are ready, stir in the dried thyme and chopped parsley, and mince or grate in the garlic. Add the tomatoes, swilling out the empty tins with the water in your jug before pouring it into the pan.
  4. Stir in the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and salt and then turn up the heat to bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat a little and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Loosen the mince with your fingers as you drop it into a large bowl. Add the black pudding, crumbling it in by hand as well.
  6. Peel the garlic cloves, and mince or grate them into the bowl. Now finely chop another 3 tablespoons worth of parsley and 2 tablespoons of chives and transfer both to the bowl.
  7. Add the dried thyme, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Then sprinkle over the oats and crack in the eggs. Mix this all together with your hands, making sure it’s evenly incorporated.
  8. Get out a large baking sheet or a very large chopping board. Then tear off walnut-sized lumps of the mixture and roll them between your palms to make meatballs, placing them on the baking sheet or board as you go. You should end up making about 40.
  9. Drop the meatballs into the sauce in concentric circles, easing them in gently. Try to get the meatballs covered by the sauce and then bring to a bubble. At which point, clamp on the lid, turn the heat down a bit, and let it simmer robustly for 15 minutes.
  10. Take off the lid and give the pan a very gentle stir, then leave without a lid for another 15 minutes, simmering a little less robustly now, by which time the meatballs should be cooked through, and the sauce divinely intense.
  11. Check the sauce for seasoning, then leave off the heat for 5–10 minutes. While you wait, chop some chives (and parsley if wished) to sprinkle over. Ladle into bowls served with spaghetti.