Friday, 5 December 2008
Italian meatballs with tomato sauce
Recently we went up to Queensland for a bit of a holiday and stayed with our gorgeous friends Polly and Shane. Polly and I are in our element in the kitchen, so there was plenty of cooking to be done, which was loads of fun.
One of my favourite meals during our time there were these meatballs. Mmm mm. Prior to this event I had never really like meatballs, they seemed pointless, why not just bolognese? I know, I know, silly of me huh? I totally understand why meatballs now! These are perfect! I've made them several times since, and they are very popular.
180ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
100grams pinenuts, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
handful of parsley, basil and rosemary, roughly chopped
2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
50g fresh breadcrumbs
25g parmesan, grated
zest of 1 lemon
500g minced beef or pork
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100ml red wine
large tbs tomato paste
Start with the meatballs - fry the onion, garlic and pinenuts in half the olive oil until soft.
In a large bowl combine the herbs, fennel, breadcrumbs, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, egg and mince. Add the cooled onion mix and some salt and pepper. Leave the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before making into balls.
Form the balls with about 50grams of the mixture (about the size of a walnut) and then flatten a little to make it easier to cook on both sides. Make balls out of all the mixture and then you're ready to fry.
Fry the meatballs in a large pan with the remaining olive oil until golden brown. Cook in batches so the pan isn't too crowded.
For the sauce, fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil for a few minutes till soft and add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and then add the meatballs gently to the sauce and simmer for a further 10 minutes, covered. Allow this all to stand for 10 minutes and serve with pasta of your choice.