Mini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
November. Can anyone tell me what happened to August, September and October? It feels like the last four months just didn’t happen. Gone in a flash.
I hope everyone is looking forward to the holidays, festivities and family love that lie ahead as we get in gear for 2014. It is going to be a killer…
But before we get there, I would love to share a few more recipes with you before we say goodbye to the whirlwind that was 2013.
This recipe is a perfect midweek dinner feast, with great flavours and textures. It consists of mini beef meatballs, cooked in an onion and tomato sauce served with crispy toasted Panini slices.
This is the type of food I will just live off. I love a crispy slice of bread, ciabatta or Panini – and I am always looking out for bruschetta on the menu of Italian restaurants. And of course, in this case - it is all about the sauce and the crunch of the bread as you bite into all that goodness.
Ingredients for Mini Meatballs and Sauce:
- 1 kg lean beef mince
- 1 small onion, peeled and grated
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
- Oil, for greasing
- 15 ml olive oil
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely cut
- 2 birds eye chillies, finely cut
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into rings
- 2 cans peeled and chopped tinned tomatoes
- A handful of fresh thyme, taken off the stalks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and black pepper to taste.
- A ciabatta or Panini loaf, cut into slices, drizzled with olive oil and toasted under the grill.
Method for Mini Meatballs and Sauce:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius; prepare an oven safe baking dish. Serves four.
- Add the mince in a mixing bowl, add the grated onion, egg, herbs and mix through with your hands.
- Grease an oven safe baking dish with oil, and use some for your hands as well while rolling the mince into small “bouncy ball” size meatballs.
- Arrange in baking dish, set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and chilli until soft. Add the tomato cans, set to a simmer and add the herbs, sugar, vinegar and seasoning – stirring while simmering for about 10 minutes.
- Cover the meatballs with sauce, and bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, stirring every now and then.
- After about 20 minutes, your meat should be cooked through, but if you like to add a bit of colour to the meatballs, you can add a few more minutes on the clock.
- Serve hot, with toasted bruschetta.
The sauce is absolutely divine as a leftover pasta sauce for the next evening’s dinner. You can also serve your Mini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with decadent roasted garlic mash or rice. The world is your oyster! Enjoy!