Meatballs are incredibly satisfying and easy to make. Not only can they be packed with flavour, they can also be incredibly juicy and far superior to the premade spherical mince balls available in most supermarkets. This dish is perfect for a large family or a romantic dinner for two.
- 400g of beef mince (it’s good for it to be a little bit fatty so no need to buy the extra lean stuff!)
- 1 large white onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Basil & oregano (fresh or in a shaker)
- 2 slices of bread (stale is better!)
- 1 egg
- Two cans of chopped tomatoes
- A generous dash of tomato purée
- Two table spoons of Hendersons Relish (Worcester Sauce is a suitable alternative)
- A handful of chili flakes
- 4 diced rocket chillies
- A handful of parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper
- Packed spaghetti
- Olive oil
- Chop the garlic and onion as small as possible.
- Grate the bread until breadcrumbs are very fine.
- Place the raw beef mince in a mixing bowl and break apart with one hand.
- Add the garlic and half the chopped onion along with the breadcrumbs before cracking a raw egg into the mixture.
- Kneed well with hands until evenly spread.
- Season with salt & pepper, along with a generous helping of basil, oregano and chili flakes.
- Form the meatballs, ensuring they are evenly sized and squeezed tightly to avoid the mixture breaking apart easily. If mixture feels to dry and isn’t sticking, add a small splash of milk or crack another egg into the mix.
- Heat a deep pan with some olive oil and brown the remaining onion.
- Add two tins of chopped tomatoes to the pan.
- Allow to simmer and season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Also add your Henderson’s Relish if you have any – this makes it so much richer!!
- Add the diced rocket chilies before carefully placing each raw meatball in the pan, gently pressing them into the sauce. If necessary, top up the pan slightly with water to ensure the sauce doesn’t dry out.
- Cover the pan with a lid or some tin foil and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Set a saucepan to boil and add your spaghetti. As a rough portion size, when bunched in a fist it should be around the diameter of a 50 pence piece for two portions.
- Check and turn your meatballs after 10 minutes or so and allow the sauce to continue to simmer. The longer you do this, the more time the sauce has to flavour the meat.
- Serve the pasta as required and top with meatballs when cooked.
- Grate Parmesan cheese on top and serve with a tiny sprig of fresh basil if you have any lying around!
TIP: For more crispy and textured meatballs, consider cooking them in the oven or pan frying in a splash of olive oil before adding them to the pan containing the sauce.