Sunday, July 11, 2010

Magical Italian Meatballs with Veggie Pasta Sauce

Yesterday I was doing a supermarket shop & saw two packs of mince for €5 - it's the stuff I'd normally use, so I had no concerns about buying it.  Then I thought I might make some meatballs & grabbed a pack of pork mince.  I had the rest of the ingredients lying around the house, so decided to give them a bash this afternoon (any excuse to put off the Ironing Mountain!).  I would normally brown the meatballs in a frying pan, but I was reading a US website the other day that said to bake them in the oven, a bit like meatloaf.  It worked surprisingly well... 

This recipe freezes like a dream, so is a fantastic dinner standby - just add pasta and some Parmesan and dinner is ready in practically the blink of an eye.  It's also pretty cheap to make, so it's very pocket-friendly which is no bad thing!

Magical Italian Meatballs

800g Minced Beef
500g Minced Pork
75g Fresh Breadcrumbs
3 tbsp Milk
1 Onion, minced or grated
25g Parmesan, grated
1 tbsp Lea & Perrins
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 tbsp dried Oregano
1 tbsp dried Basil
1 tbsp dried Rosemary
2 tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh Sage, finely chopped
Plenty of Salt & Pepper - these need a lot of seasoning

Most of the ingredients you'll need (the oregano went AWOL!)

Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk until they're soft & squidgy
In a very large bowl, mix all the ingredients & mix lightly (use rubber gloves if you prefer).

Form into golf-ball sized balls - place on parchment lined baking sheets.  This quantity makes about 40-45 meatballs.

Bake for 25 minutes at 400f/225c/Gas 7

While the meatballs are in the oven, make the pasta sauce

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately or leave to fully cook before freezing.  This will keep for 6 months in your freezer.

Veggie Pasta Sauce

1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 Courgettes, chopped
100g Mushrooms. chopped
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp Sugar
3 cartons Crushed Tomatoes
2 tbsp Sundried Tomato Puree
Fresh Basil, chopped

Fry the onion, garlic, courgettes & mushrooms in the olive oil until soft.

Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato puree and salt/pepper and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat & simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the meatballs and simmer for another 15 minutes.  Garnish with the fresh basil & serve

Dinner is ready!!
All ready for the freezer!

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