Romantic Italian Meatballs

Recipe of the Week

Seasonal Produce: there isn’t really one this week!

Cards on the table, I haven’t picked a specific seasonal ingredient this week. Instead I’ve opted for another warming meal to get us through what’s been a fairly bleak February. Having just had Valentines Day this recipe seems appropriate and makes me think of The Lady & The Tramp. Although I’m not sure this one is for sharing! Ingredients1 red onion, finely diced

400g good quality minced beef

4 cloves of garlic

2 handfuls of fresh basil

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

100ml beef stock

200ml red wine

1tsp golden caster sugar

Method

To make the meatballs, add the beef, half of the onion and two cloves of minced garlic to a bowl. Finely chop a handful of basil and add to the bowl as well as 1 tsp of salt. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands in making sure you combine all of the ingredients well. After a minute or two the salt you’ve added should have got to work helping you combine the mixture.

Next you need to make the meatballs. Take a small handful of the mixture and roll in between the palms of your hands until it is rolled into a tight ball that holds its shape. Simply repeat for the rest of the mixture. I find the smaller the meatballs the better they taste when mixed with the sauce- but it’s up to you! Once you’re done, pop them in the fridge for 10 minutes to settle.

Whilst they are in the fridge you can make your sauce. Put the rest of the onion in a saucepan and fry lightly until translucent. Next add the rest of the garlic and chopped tomatoes and cook. Finally add the beef stock, red wine, sugar and basil and turn the temperature down and allow to simmer. You’re going to want to leave this for as long as possible to get the best taste- I’d say about an hour if you can.

Back to your meatballs: take them out of the fridge and heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan. Once heated, add the meatballs and allow to brown, turning often to ensure they brown on all sides. Once browned, lift them out making sure to leave the fat and excess oil behind and pop them into your sauce. Leave them to slowly cook away for about 20 minutes.

Season to taste and hey presto- you’re done!

I usually cook wholewheat spaghetti to have with these- but it’s entirely you’re choice!

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