Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

These are old-fashioned meatballs they are garlicky and have a rich, meaty flavour. A generous helping of breadcrumbs help them stay moist and succulent as they fry.

Meatballs
2 slice of bread
2 tbsp milk
500g minced beef
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, chopped fine
Grated nutmeg (about ¼ teaspoon)
Good pinch salt
Dried mixed herbs (optional about ¼ teaspoon)
Olive oil

Rip the bread up, crust and all, into smallish pieces and toss into your food processor. Blitz to make breadcrumbs.

meatballs (3)

Soak in milk for 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture and place in a bowl with beef, garlic, onion and nutmeg and dried herbs if using. Season with salt and pepper, then, using your hands, knead mixture until smooth.

meatballs (4)

Form into balls and place on a tray. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook meatballs, turning until browned. You want to fry them on all sides over relatively high heat to form a good crust. By the time all the sides are brown, they should be just about cooked on the inside. Transfer to a plate.

meatballs (1)

The meatballs can be made in advance and frozen, so you can cook them whenever you like. They go great with pasta sauce topped with parmesan cheese.

Tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can chopped tomatoes or pasata
Good dollop of tomato puree

To make tomato sauce, over medium heat, add the olive oil to the onion, garlic and bay leaf, and cook until onion is soft. Stir in tomatoes and if you like a strong tomato flavour, as I do add a good tablespoon of tomato puree. Return meatballs to pan. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened and meatballs are cooked through. Add a little water, if necessary, to stop sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.

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