Meatballs are the ultimate comfort food and making them means I will be having a comfy night at home, which excites me very much! They are a hearty food but when homemade with fresh ingredients they are also a healthy option, which is fantastic news for this winter! I've teamed mine with some lovely fresh tagliatella from The Seriously Italian Company but I often replace this with courgette if I'm feeling like a lower carbohydrate option. I really enjoy the flavour of pork in meatballs, and having bought a tube of sausage meat from Greenfield Pork Products (probably the best sausages you will ever have) I decided to use this to make mine. If you prefer you could use beef or chicken mince, or even a combination. I'm using my recipe for traditional tomato sauce to tie the whole dish together. Serve with a big salad.
Makes 12 meatballs
For the meatballs
450g pork sausage meat, or meat of your choice
50g breadcrumbs, or brown rice breadcrumbs
3 tbsp parmesan
1 large egg
Bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
Grated parmesan for serving
For the tomato sauce
2 tins (800g) chopped Italian plum tomatoes
1 red onion, peeled and chopped in half
3 cloves of garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
1-2 tsp salt
Put the tomatoes, onion halves, salt and garlic in a sauce pan over a medium heat. Once heated, close to boiling, turn down to a low heat and add the butter. Cook uncovered at a slow simmer for around 30 minutes. Stir the mixture every so often and mash up any larger bits of tomato.
Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the meatballs together in a bowl and combine, using your hands is easiest. Now roll the meat into balls and set to one side, you should make around 12. If you want you could make more smaller ones for little people.
When the tomato sauce has been cooking for 20 minutes, heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the meatballs and cook for around 10 minutes, until browned evenly. Pour the tomato sauce into the meatball pan and stir. Cover the pan and simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce becomes a little too thick simply add a little hot water to the pan and stir.
Cook the pasta to the instructions, drain and return to the pan. Quickly pour in a little olive oil or butter to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Spoon in some tomato sauce and stir, add more if necessary. Serve immediately with the meatballs placed on top of the pasta and a good sprinkle of parmesan.