Thursday, 22 March 2012

Italian Meatballs


Last week we were told to cut down on the amount of red or processed meat, to help reduce the risk of cancer. Like we didn't know that too much red or processed meat was bad for you. It's also bad for the climate, because the amount of methane coming out of these animals are creating more harmful green house gases than pollution from driving (see links below) But since this so called revelation was announced, it's like my psyche has gone into naughty kid mode. Since being told to cut down on these harmful meats I've subconsciously started eating more. The only non red meat dish I've eaten in the last 10 days was a fish pie! I can hear you say “well that is healthy”, O ye of little understanding of our fish pie. It has more cheese in it than a cheese fondue for 6. Although it's delicious you can almost feel your veins clogging up as you eat it (recipe to come in a future post).

The healthy eating after Christmas and New Year is well and truly over and this dish has actually has both red and processed meat, ooops :-). Another bad thing about this dish is it has lots of flavour and very tasty and it's a dish that I am going to have to ration.

Tomato Sauce
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 350g onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2x400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼tsp ground cinnamon


Meat Balls
  • 450g lean mince beef
  • 2tbsp chopped basil
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 75g breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium egg, plus the yolk of another medium egg
  • 2tbsp chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 3tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 12 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
This recipe serves 4 people


Heat the oil in a flame-proof casserole dish, add the onions with two thirds of the garlic and gently fry until softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in the tinned tomatoes, salt, white wine vinegar and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add the minced beef, basil, oregano, breadcrumbs, remaining garlic, egg, egg yolk, parsley and 1tbsp of the grated parmesan and mix together, I loved using my hands, but a spoon is okay, if you don't like getting your hands dirty.

Once mixed together, roll out 12 evenly sized meatballs and place on a plate. Take one meatball at a time and wrap 1 streaky bacon around each meatball.

Place the meatballs on top of the tomato sauce. Put the lid back on the casserole dish and place in a preheated oven of 180c/gas 4/350f for about 45 minutes.

When about to serve throw in the extra parsley and the 2tbsp of fresh parmesan.

Serve with rice of pasta.

2 comments:

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Well that's the naughty step for you, young man!

But I agree, love Italian meatballs. And being practical, they are pretty good for freezing too.

Donkey said...

I did better yesterday I had a chicken dish, which was a little better :-).
I agree about the freezing element to meatballs and actually have some in the freezer now.
Have a good weekend