Moist, flavorful beef meatballs simmered in a thick sauce of tomatoes and other vegetables will have your children eating their plates clean and you get to fill them in with hidden vegetables they may not otherwise agree to eat.
Let’s get started.
Our ingredients for the meatballs are:- 500 g beef mince (not lean), one grated onion, 1 egg, 4 minced garlic cloves, salt and black pepper, 1/ cup of breadcrumbs, 1 tsp mixed herbs (basil, oregano,thyme and parsley) and 1 tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Preheat your oven at 200 ° C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Mix all the above ingredients together and scoop a tablespoon rolling into balls. I made 20 balls.
Place on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes after drizzling with some olive oil. Turn / flip them after ten minutes.
Note: A lot of people fry the meatballs to lock in the juices and get a nice char or crispness to the meatballs’ exterior. Baking them as I did gave the same result without the frying up. The balls crisp up well on the outside but are juicy and tender on the inside. Well cooked, full of flavour and oh so tasty. The fat in the mince and the cheese inside work well to ensure they remain moist inside.
As the balls bake, you can get started on the sauce. You will need:-
- One onion chopped
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 celery stalk
- Four tomatoes, sliced
- Grated mixed vegetables- I used one carrot, one eggplant and one courgette.
- 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs.
- One can tomato sauce
- A pinch of sugar.
- A teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- One cup hot water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese to serve.
Heat your pan and add the olive oil as well as the minced garlic.
Let it cook in the oil and release it’s lovely aroma, before adding the onion and celery.
Mix well and cook till onion is softened, then add the herbs.
Let cook a while then add the sliced tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Let them cook on low till mushy, before adding the grated mixed vegetables.
Let them also cook a bit. Add the Worcestershire sauce, the canned tomato sauce and a pinch of sugar. Mix well as it cooks and thickens. Add the hot water, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Sauce will be smelling so good. Check seasoning and thickness before adding the baked meatballs. Still on low, let them simmer for another 20 or so minutes on low.
Once the sauce is ready. Serve with your spaghetti and some grated Parmesan on top.
Dig in and enjoy this tasty, filling and colorful dish.
This is comfort food as its best. Definitely worth a try.