This is a great dish I came up with when I felt like cooking us something Italian. I wanted a rich tomato sauce, lots of deep herby flavours, a lot spice, but without the carbs that usually comes when I make pasta. But how could I make something filling enough for the hungriest of eaters when I don’t want to use pasta? MAKE MEATBALLS!
It’s a simple meal that’s sure to fill up your guests on any occasion. I made it with a soup instead of a sauce because I wasn’t making pasta, and I didn’t want to just eat meatballs on their own. The soup goes fantastic for dipping with the Focaccia bread I made (HERE). I threw in some extra herbs and veg that I had leftover from when I made the bread to go into the soup.
For the soup:
- 3Tb Tomato Paste
- 1L Diced Tomatoes
- 500ml Chicken Stock
- 2t Chilli Flakes
- 3t Dried Oregano
- 2t Dried Basil
- 1/2 Can Pitted Olives
- 2 Bay Leaves
- A few sprigs fresh Thyme
- 200g Cherry Tomatoes
- Chiffonade Fresh Basil
For the Meatballs
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1t dried chilli flakes
- 500g minced beef
- 75g panko breadcrumbs
- 4T milk
- Salt and Pepper
Sauté the onions and garlic with seasoning in a hot oiled frying pan for around 5 min, adding the chilli flakes after a minute or two
Place the beef in a large bowl and season it. In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the milk, adding seasoning to this as well
Put the breadcrumb mix and the garlic and onions in with the beef and mix it well with your hands
When all the ingredients are fully incorporated, begin rolling the meatballs. Roll them to be about 2 inches wide each
Cover in a bowl with saran wrap and let set in the fridge for 30 min
Mix for a few minutes then add diced tomatoes and cook down until tomatoes are soft, then add chicken stock and remaining ingredients except fresh basil.
Cook for about 15 min on med heat until all flavour has developed. Season and taste.
Remove the meatballs and place on serving dish, ladle on soup to keep the meatballs moist.
Finish with parmesan cheese and the fresh basil. I served these with a full vine of tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper, scored, then drizzled with olive oil and balsamic.