Meatballs with tomato sauce

Meatballs with tomato sauce

By
From
Nathan Outlaw's Home Kitchen
Serves
4
Photographer
David Loftus

You may well have your own special meatball recipe but please give my version a try. I promise you, I know how to make a good meatball! The most important thing is to buy the very best-quality minced meat you can, so get a top butcher to mince some especially for you. I’ve given you four meat options because this recipe works well with any of them. Also, feel free to spice up the meatballs and add different herbs to the sauce. This is just my basic recipe for you to play around with.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the meatballs

Quantity Ingredient
600g good-quality minced beef, lamb, pork or veal
80g fresh breadcrumbs
olive oil, for cooking
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small white onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tender sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
4 teaspoons sugar
100ml sherry vinegar
700ml jar passata
400g tin good-quality peeled plum tomatoes, chopped
20 basil leaves, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Method

  1. To make the meatballs, mix the minced meat and breadcrumbs together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix again. Fry off a little piece of the mixture in an oiled pan and taste, then adjust the seasoning of the main mixture as necessary.
  2. Using your hands, shape the mixture into even-sized small balls, no larger than a golf ball. Place on a tray in the fridge to rest.
  3. Preheat your grill to high.
  4. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat a large frying pan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 4–5 minutes until they become translucent. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes, then add the sugar and sherry vinegar and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in the passata, tip in the tomatoes and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, you can grill the meatballs. Oil and season them all over with salt and pepper, then place on a grill tray under the grill and cook for 8 minutes, turning a few times, until they begin to colour. Remove the meatballs from the grill and lower them carefully into the sauce. Cook gently for 20 minutes.
  6. Before serving, add the basil and parsley and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. I like my meatballs with boiled potatoes but, of course, spaghetti is perfect too.
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