Juicy Tomato&Basil Meatballs

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Meatballs are a firm family favourite in most houses.  Even if you’re cooking for just yourself or for two – you can transform your meatball leftovers into a delicious meatball sandwich on day two.

Traditionally, people tend to use beef and pork together for meatballs (which is very tasty) – but I like to cut out that extra fat factor and use either just beef or turkey. Turkey mince is leaner than beef, so – if you’re trying to keep the dish as low fat as possible, turkey is a great option.

Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ an onion
  • Olive oil
  • Lots of fresh basil
  • Black pepper and salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 400g turkey/beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Passata 300ml
  • Few tablespoons of flour
  • 1 glass of red wine (optional)

Method:

  1. Finely chop the garlic and onion. Add one tablespoon of olive or rapeseed oil to a pan and over a medium – high heat… sauté the garlic and onion with a seasoning of salt and pepper.  This takes only a few minutes and then take the pan of the heat.
  2. Place mince into a large bowl, add the garlic and onion mix and crack in the egg. Add a tablespoon of flour and mix everything with a fork.
  3. Flour a large plate or chopping board with a couple of tablespoons of plain flour.
  4. With a tablespoon or ice-cream scoop, start scooping up about a golf ball sized amount of meat – and with your hands, roll the mixture around in your palms and then lightly flour it on all sides using the board – then resting them on the board pre cook.
  5. With the same pan that you used for frying the onion and garlic – add a little more oil, heat the pan again on medium-high and start cooking the meatballs in two batches. (Cooking them in batches of five/six at a time is much easier than trying to cook them all at once). Allow them to seal on all sides (takes a few minutes) and then rest them back onto the board. Don’t worry about them not being cooked through – they will cook again once the sauce is ready.
  6. Again, take the same frying pan and add to it – the full tin of tomatoes, the passata, about two-three handfuls of fresh basil, a tablespoon of oregano, and a seasoning of salt and black pepper. You may also add a glass of red wine to the pan but this is entirely optional – it adds another depth of richness to the dish.
  7. Bring the sauce to the boil and taste – add more seasoning if required. Add the meatballs carefully to the pan and allow them to cook in the sauce on a gentle simmer for about 30-35 minutes. You may use a spoon to cover the meatballs entirely with the sauce. Check on it every now and then and give it a stir.
  8. Ten minutes before the meatballs are done – cook some pasta or spaggetti and grate some parmesan.

 

Serving suggestion: Serve as a sharing dish – allowing people to help themselves OR serve about three-four meatballs per person with lots of the tasty sauce over a portion of pasta.     

 

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