100gveal minceif you can’t find veal mince, an equal mixture of pork and beef will work fine – or just 500g of one meat
Cover the base of a large sauce pan with olive oil and heat for 30 seconds, until shimmering. Add the finely chopped onion to the pan and stir. Season with a pinch of salt, decrease the heat to low, cover the onions and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring often.
Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the chilli flakes, basil stalks, and finely sliced garlic to the pan. Increase the heat and cook for one minute. Keep stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
Add the red wine to the pan and stir. Cook for another five minutes or so, until the wine has reduced by 2/3.
Once the wine has reduced, add the tomatoes to the pan. Fill one of the empty tins with water and add that to the pan, too. Throw half the ripped basil leaves, oregano, and 2 teaspoons white sugar into the pan and slowly bring to the boil.
When the sauce begins to boil, decrease the heat and cook slowly, stirring occasionally to prevent it from catching.
While the sauce cooks, combine the meatball mixture in a mixing bowl and separate into approximately 25-30 meatballs, dependent on size preference.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently fry the meatballs until firm when pinched with cooking tongs. Cook the meatballs in batches if necessary, to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Once fried, add the meatballs to the sauce and continue to cook over low heat for at least 10 minutes.
After adding the meatballs to the sauce, cook the pasta according to packet instructions (or for 2-3 minutes if using fresh) until al dente. Reserve the cooking water.
Once cooked al dente, transfer the pasta to the pan with the meatballs and sauce. Add a ladle or two of cooking water, the butter, most of the parmesan, and the remaining basil leaves. Stir to combine, continuing to cook over low heat. Once the butter and cheese have melted, transfer the spaghetti and meatballs to a bowl and finish with an additional sprinkle of parmesan, plus a crack of black pepper.