Last Friday evening, I took Kyle on in a particularly fierce game of table tennis. Midway through the ping-pong war, we decided to raise the stakes by putting something on the outcome of the game.
Confident in my ability to get the better of him and craving some of Kyle’s home-cooked meals over the weekend, I foolishly suggested that the loser of the match would have to cook a meal of the winner’s choosing that coming Sunday.
Unfortunately, my efforts were undone by a sneaky (lucky) drop shot and it was left to Kyle to demand that I made spaghetti Bolognese for him.
As Sunday approached and I started to think about a recipe to use, I thought it might be nice to try something slightly different from the usual spag bol approach. I asked the gracious (ahem!) winner’s permission to tweak his demanded dish to beef meatballs with tomato sauce and permission was granted.
Thankfully (since the easy meatballs recipe I ended up following made enough meatballs with tomato sauce for Sunday dinner plus tea for two subsequent evenings) the dish was really tasty, the sweet tomato sauce combining perfectly with the herby taste of the meatballs. We served it with Carluccio’s linguine and lashings of Parmesan cheese.
Here’s how I pulled off my meatballs masterpiece (Kyle’s words, not mine!):
First of all, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan before adding one chopped up onion and a sliced clove of garlic. Make sure the heat isn’t too high, as you only want to sweat the onion and garlic down for around four minutes. Once the onion and garlic has gone golden brown, set it aside to cool.
Once cooled, mix two packs of lean mince with the onion and garlic plus some salt and pepper, before adding a couple of tablespoons of chopped herbs. I used some lovely stalks of rosemary from our herb garden and I really believe that this added a new dimension to the dish. You’ll also need to crack an egg into the bowl (this allows the mixture to bind together properly).
After you’ve mixed it all together (this is a very satisfying part of the recipe to follow – just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after!), divide the mince mixture into 24 round balls. Don’t underestimate how much mince mixture this meatballs recipe makes; I started off by making the balls quite small, but there was enough for 24 generous sized balls, so don’t worry about running out of mixture!
Put the meatballs to one side while you prepare the tomato sauce. This is really easy to do. Simply heat another tablespoon or two of oil in a pan before adding another chopped onion and some chopped garlic. Once it’s gone golden, chuck in two tins of canned tomatoes and add a teaspoon of sugar along with some salt and pepper. Then, leave the sauce to bubble away for around half an hour. Stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
About 20 minutes into this half hour of cooking the sauce, heat some oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs. It’s a tricky old business making sure the meatballs keep their shape, so just be careful when you flip them over and try not to move them around too much.
Once the meatballs are cooked, pour the tomato sauce over them and let them simmer together for a couple of minutes. Then, drain your spaghetti (or whatever pasta you decide to use), pour into a bowl and slather the delicious meatball mixture over the top.
If you’re looking for an easy meatballs recipe to follow, look no further – you’ll love this one!
Categories: Cooking Experiences