Who doesn't like meatballs?! I certainly do and that's why I created this spicy meatball al forno! The meatballs are very simply made from minced beef, chopped sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest and an egg yolk, sometimes less is more and if you use good quality mince the flavours will be great! I made a fiery arrabbiata sauce (which is basically a tomato sauce with lots of chilli in it) to nestle the meatballs in. I topped the dish with creamy burrata which I am totally in love with, you won't be able to resist a taste, parmesan and fresh basil. The dish is baked into perfection and served with a big bowl of courgette, but you could substitute that for pasta or even baguettes to make sandwiches.
Makes 12 meatballs
Ingredients for the meatballs
400g good quality minced beef
40g sun-dried tomatoes
1 egg yolk
Zest of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
Ingredients for the arrabbiata
2 tins of chopped Italian tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes, or to your taste
1 tsp marjoram or oregano
Olive oil, for cooking
Fresh basil, small bunch
50g burrata or mozzarella
Parmesan, for sprinkling
2 spiralized courgettes, optional
Preheat the oven to 200C fan.
Heat a large pan over a medium heat with a good glug of olive oil. Once hot throw in the chopped onion, fresh chilli and crushed garlic. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Now add the dried chilli flakes and cook for further minute. Now pour in the tomatoes and marjoram. Stir well and simmer for around 25 minutes or until reduced.
While the sauce is cooking get started on the meatballs. Place all the ingredient in a bowl with a generous season of salt and pepper. Combine well and then roll into 12 balls.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the meatballs to the pan and fry for around 5 minutes, turning occasionally until brown on all sides. Set aside.
Once the sauce is done pour into a baking dish and dot the meatballs around. Tear over the burrata, fresh basil and sprinkle a little parmesan over to finish. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden.
Serve immediately with the courgetti and extra basil.