October 03, 2013

Homemade Meatballs + Tomato Sauce

I'm thinking about your food plans. Specifically, your weekend food plans. More specifically,  your food plans for this weekend. I care a lot.

If I'm being honest, these meatballs might be in mine too. Third time this week having pasta. Nothing wrong with that. 

This is a perfect weekend dinner or mid-week dinner, for that matter. I like pottering around the kitchen on my time off, making things from scratch. 

This tomato sauce and these meatballs are an ideal way to spend your time in the kitchen. A little bit of preparation early on in the day will free up your afternoon for you to do as you please. By the time you're ready for dinner, all you need to do is boil a pot of water for pasta, cook the meatballs effortlessly in the oven and reheat the tomato sauce. 

You can make these meatballs a day or two in advance and the tomato sauce too. They also freeze like a dream for a delicious dinner another time. 

The nights are getting blistery and these meatballs and tomato sauce are really satisfying, filing and comforting!


Holly, x

Tomato sauce ingredients-carrot, celery, onion, garlic, tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and fresh basil.

Meatball ingredients- minced beef and minced pork, egg, fresh breadcrumbs, fresh rosemary and pepper. 

Begin the sauce by preparing the vegetables. 

Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add the carrot, onion and celery. Cover with a circle of parchment paper and sweat over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened. 

In the meantime make the meatballs...chop the rosemary and place in a bowl with the minced pork, minced beef, fresh breadcrumbs, egg and pepper. 

Mix lightly, with clean hands, until all the ingredients are well combined. 

Divide the mixture into four quarters and with wet hands, roll out 8-9 meatballs per quarters. 

Lay on a baking tray. At this stage you can place the meatballs in the fridge until you need them. Alternatively, freeze the meatballs in an even layer before placing in a ziploc bag. 

Once you're ready to cook the meatballs-preheat the oven to 180C and cook for 18-22 minutes or until there is no sign of pink in the meatballs. 

Back to the sauce: remove the parchment paper after 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. 

Add in the tomato paste, the basil stalks and the tinned tomatoes. 

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer the tomato sauce for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Remove the sauce from the heat...

...and blitz with a hand blender. The sauce is ready to eat! 

Once the meatballs are cooked, you can toss them in the tomato, if you like, before serving them over spaghetti. 

Recipe, Serves 6-8


2 x Carrots
2 x Celery Stalks
1 x Onion
4 x Cloves Garlic
2 x 400g Tins Chopped Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 x Stalks Fresh Basil
2 x Tablespoon Olive Oil

Finally dice the carrot, celery, onion and garlic.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the diced carrot, celery and onion.
Cover the vegetables with a circle of parchment paper and sweat over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the garlic, along with a large pinch of salt and pepper and stir for 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato paste followed by the tinned tomatoes and the basil stalks. 
Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the sauce from the heat, no need to remove the basil-blitz with a blender.
Taste the sauce for salt and pepper. 

Meatballs, makes 35. Easily halved but you could follow the recipe below and make a full batch, cook half and freeze half. 

500g Minced Pork
500g Minced Beef
1 x Egg
2 x Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
50g Fresh Breadcrumbs
Generous Pinch of Pepper

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until combined.
Divide the mixture into four quarters and roll out 8-9 meatballs per quarter.
Lay the meatballs on a baking sheet in neat rows.
Cover and place the meatballs in the fridge until ready to use or freeze in a single layer before transferring to a ziploc bag.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place in the preheated oven and cook for 18-22 minutes, until there is no trace of pink. 
Remove from the oven, toss with the tomato sauce if desired and serve over pasta. 

To Serve
Garlic Bread