every one a winner
every one a dinner
Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
To serve – 4 to 6
Preparation time – 6 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time
Cooking time – 40 minutes
Can be prepared ahead and cooked the following day.
For the meatballs: 1 large onion, finely chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 50 g/ 2 oz Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped ½ tsp paprika 1 small egg, beaten 500 g/ 1 lb 2 oz lean minced beef 2 tbsp olive oil, for frying Salt and freshly ground black pepper For the sauce 1 large onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, crushed 600 ml/ 1 pint passata 3 tbsp tomato purée 2 tsp caster sugar A dash of hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
- Firstly make the meatballs by putting all the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl, season well with salt and pepper and mix with your damp hands until thoroughly combined. Shape into 24 even-sized balls and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in wide heavy-based frying pan, add the meatballs and fry over a high heat, turning frequently with a fork and spoon, for 8-10 minutes or until just golden brown.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- Secondly make the sauce, return the same pan to the heat, add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, taking care that the garlic does not burn, then lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Stir in the passata, tomato purée, sugar and hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper, add 300ml/ 10 fl oz water and season with salt and pepper.
- Let the sauce bubble, uncovered, for 10 minutes until slightly reduced, then add the meatballs and half of the chopped basil.
- Cover again with the lid and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve piping hot on spaghetti or pasta of choice stirring the sauce through the pasta and sprinkle over the remaining basil.
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