150 g (5 1/2 oz) cups brown breadcrumbs
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup milk
25 g (1 oz) 2 tbsp butter
25 g (1 oz) 1/4 cup wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour
200 ml (7 fl oz) 7/8 cup beef stock
400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 large onion, chopped
450 g (1 lb) 4 cups minced steak
1 tsp paprika
4 tbsp olive oil
450 g (1 lb) fresh spaghetti
salt and pepper fresh tarragon sprigs, to garnish
1. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl, add the milk and set aside to soak for about 30 minutes.
2. Melt half of the butter in a pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the beef stock and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree (paste), sugar and tarragon. Season well and simmer for 25 minutes.
3. Mix the onion, steak and paprika into the breadcrumbs and season to taste. Shape the mixture into 14 meatballs.
4. Heat the oil and remaining butter in a frying pan (skillet) and fry the meatballs, turning, until brown all over. Place in a deep casserole, pour over the tomato sauce, cover and bake in a preheated oven, at 180°C/ 350°F/Gas Mark 4, for 25 minutes.
5. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the fresh spaghetti, bring back to the boil and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes or until tender, but still firm to the bite.
6. Meanwhile, remove the meatballs from the oven and allow them to cool for 3 minutes. Serve the meatballs and their sauce with the spaghetti, garnished with tarragon sprigs.