Winter Warmer: Spaghetti con Polpette w/ 2018 ‘Il Capo’

Winter Warmer: Spaghetti con Polpette w/ 2018 ‘Il Capo’

This traditional style Spaghetti con polpette (Spaghetti with meatballs) is a must-try winter recipe from Gourmet Traveller. Pair it with our 2018 Cosa Nostra Il Capo, a blend of Nero D’Avola (82%) and Negroamaro (18%), two varieties that work well together. The negroamaro softens the wine a little and creates a slightly different fruit profile. It still has the lovely red fruits you’d expect from a Nero. Quite savoury and with three years’ bottle age, it’s drinking really well at the moment. ~ Adrian

Spaghetti con Polpette w/ 2018 Cosa Nostra ‘Il Capo’

Spaghetti con polpette (Spaghetti with meatballs)

Serves 8
30 minutes preparation
1 hour 30 minutes cooking


  • 750 gm dried spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • To serve: torn basil leaves


  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 80 ml red wine
  • 1.4 litres tomato passata
  • 2 each fresh bay leaves and thyme sprigs


  • 800 gm minced veal
  • 200 gm minced pork
  • 60 gm pine nuts, toasted
  • 50 gm each parmesan and pecorino, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 50 gm mild pancetta, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fine soft white breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp each coarsely chopped parsley and oregano
  • 2 tsp each coarsely chopped rosemary and thyme
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. First up, open a bottle of 2018 Cosa Nostra ‘Il Capo’, pour a glass and turn the oven on to 190°C.
  2. For sugo, heat extra-virgin olive oil in a wide shallow saucepan over medium heat, add onion and sauté until starting to soften (5 minutes). Add garlic, sauté until very tender (10-12 minutes), add wine and cook until reduced by one-third (2-4 minutes). Add tomato passata and herbs, bring to the boil, season to taste and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, for polpette, combine ingredients (except olive oil) in a bowl, season to taste and mix with your hands to combine well. Roll golf-ball-sized pieces of mixture in your hands until they start to feel elastic, and set balls aside. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, add polpette in batches and turn occasionally until golden (2-4 minutes). Add to pan with sugo, season to taste, cover with a lid, transfer to oven and bake until polpette are cooked through and sauce is rich and thick (1 hour).
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (5-10 minutes). Drain, toss in extra-virgin olive oil and serve with polpette in sugo, scattered with basil leaves and extra parmesan and pecorino.
  5. Lastly, dig in and enjoy the lovely red fruits and savoury flavours of the Il Capo with the rich red-wine sauce and aromatic herbs.

Source: Gourmet Traveller