Tuesday, 24 September 2013

# 374 Meatballs in tomato and basil sauce

When writing our meal plan the other day A. suggested I make meatballs as it's been a while since we had them last. Meatballs are really easy to make but a little time consuming so when I make them I always make an extra portion to keep in the fridge for another meal. They're also good for packed lunches, A. likes his in a pitta bread.

You can of course make your own tomato sauce but this time I went for the lazy approach and used sauce from a jar.

Meatballs in tomato and basil sauce

800g extra lean beef mince
5 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of paprika
Half a teaspoon of crushed chillies (add more if you want more heat)
Half a jar of good quality tomato and basil sauce
1 small onion, chopped
Drizzle of olive oil
Plain flour

Put the beef mince in a bowl, add the breadcrumbs, salt, paprika and crushed chillies and mix until well combined. Form small balls and place them in a plate or board dusted with plain flour, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge to firm up until cooking time.

Drizzle a frying pan with a little olive oil and when hot brown the meatballs in batches. The aim is just to sear the meatballs  and not to cook them through. When all meatballs have been browned add the chopped onion and cook until soft, then add the tomato and basil sauce and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the meatballs.

Add a little boiling water if you think the sauce is becoming too thick. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes over a low heat stirring occasionaly.

Serve with white rice, mashed potato or spaghetti and a side of salad.