Thursday, 13 September 2012

Meatballs meatballs meatballs

I am a lover... No..... An enthusiast of Italian cooking. I adore pasta and it's versatility. I have massive respect for anyone who makes their own pasta (I never have the time) and its usually my cuisine of choice when choosing a restaurant.

My dad showed me how to make Spaghetti Bolognese and Spaghetti and Meatballs from a very early age. My job was rolling the meatballs whilst my dad tended to the sauce, spices and spaghetti. There's is something beautifully therapeutic about moulding mince and adding spices and herbs to create something completely different to its original state. Bliss.

So below I have given you my recipe for meatballs as its a family favourite. My version does have added sausage meat but every bite provides that the effort is worth it.

6 sausages (I used Debbie and Andrews Harrogate 97%)
1 kg beef mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Large pinch of chilli flakes
50g grated Parmesan
50g fresh breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Plain flour sprinkled on to a plate
Olive oil
Spaghetti (100g per portion)
5 garlic cloves
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
Small glass of red wine
Large pinch of caster sugar
1/2 tbsp of basil
1/2 tbsp of oregano
1 tbsp of tomato purée
Large splash of Lea and Perrins sauce
1 beef stock cube
120ml water

1. First make the meatballs. Take the sausage meat out of the skins and put into a mixing bowl. Add the mince, onion, parsley, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, 2 minced cloves of garlic, chilli flakes, beaten eggs and seasoning. Use your hands- there are no airs and graces here the more you mush the meat the better the spices are incorporated and the meatballs will be nice and tender.

2. Heat the oven to 220c/200c fan assisted/gas mark 7. Roll the meat balls and set to one side. (it's up to you what size but this recipe makes lots of meatballs- I like having larger meatballs just a bit bigger than a golf ball size) If you are freezing any meatballs now is the time to do it.
Drizzle oil into a large roasting tin/baking dish and put in the oven to get hot. Whilst waiting for the oil to get hot, roll the meatballs in the plain flour. Once done pop the meatballs in the hot baking dish (listen for the sizzle) shake the dish/tray around so the meatballs are coated in the hot oil and leave to bake for 20-30 minutes until browned.

Now make the sauce. Heat some oil in a pan and add the remaining garlic cloves and cook for a minute. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, stock cube, water, sugar, Lea and Perrins and tomato purée. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the herbs and seasoning, simmer for a further 5-10 minutes until thickened. Add the cooked meatballs to the pan and keep on a low heat whilst you cook the spaghetti. Once cooked, serve with an extra sprinkling of Parmesan. Yum!!

Louis took the left overs to work with a white roll and had his very own homemade meatball sub for his dinner. He told me he was the envy of the office.

What's your family favourite??

Let me know....

No Drama xxx

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