As much as I try to eat healthily and maintain a balance, let’s face it sometimes a salad just won’t cut it! On days like this I crave something meaty, savoury, warming and comforting. Meatballs and spaghetti is the dish that encapsulates all this for me. From the rich tomato sauce, the oozing cheese to the satisying moistness of the meatballs, this entire dish just makes my tummy warm & fuzzy!
Using a good quality mince is the best way to ensure you achieve this warm and fuzzy glow (this meat nirvana if you will!). We have been using up a meat hamper that we decided to try out from a Devonshire based company that we saw at the winter Good Food show; http://www.wellhungmeat.com. This cheeky little pack of mince has been loitering in the freezer for such an opportunity for greatness, and it certainly did not disappoint
Over the years I have tried a vast array of meatball recipes and have tweaked and added bits until it tastes just right. The investment of 45 minutes is very much worth it, and if there are any leftovers these are just amazing the next day…even better in a fresh baked bagette!
500g good quality beef mince
one onion- red or white; I prefer red
Breadcrumbs- 1 slice of bread crumbled. (I have a stash in the freezer from ends whizzed in food processor- use a large handful)
Teaspoon of english mustard
pinch of dried chilli’s, oregano & cumin,
Tin of plum tomatoes
Red wine vinegar
1. Finely chop the onion, add to a thick-based frying pan pan with a splash of oil ad gently heat until translucent
2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, with the mince, mustard, breadcrumbs, egg yolk and spices. Mix thoroughly; the mixture should be quite moist but not runny or wet.
3. Heat the frying pan again, with wet hands grab a lump of the mince and form into a ball. Add to the frying pan and continue forming the meatballs keeping an eye on the ones already in the pan and turning when necessary.
4. Meanwhile, gently heat some olive oil in a saucepan, pour in the plum tomatoes being careful not to break the tomatoes, gently simmer for 15 minutes. After this time ,using a wooden spoon break up the tomatoes, add salt and pepper and taste. Splash in some balsamic vinegar and some red wine vinegar (be as liberal or as tight as you like).
5. Once the meatballs are browned all over. add them to a large casserole dish or pyrex.
6. Cover with the tomato sauce and top with cheese if you like (I use both mozzarella and parmesan)
7. Cook in preheated oven (180°C) for 30 minutes.
8. Cook some spaghetti (or pasta) in the last 20 minutes of cooking time
9. Serve & enjoy. Goes well with a green salad!
One of my favourite things!