OK, so it is cold outside.
And rather busy inside. With Christmas.
And tons of family, friends, hot chocolate, log fires, lights, garlands, pine cones, cards, music sheets, carols, lemon and cardamom cookies and presents, presents, presents.
So I just want some warm, comforting and super duper easy food.
Step in spaghetti and meatballs.
These Italian meatballs are full of herbs and cheese and the addition of the red pepper adds some extra tender juiciness to them. I tend to use only pork for these but you can use half and half pork and beef as well. I have actually made these in advance so that I more time for relaxing in the days after Christmas. My treat to myself and the mini chefs.
Well, off now to go wrap up presents and fill up those stockings.
Oh wait – I have done that already.
Here is wishing you all a very merry Christmas.
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Italian Meatball Recipe
For the tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Chilli chopped to taste
- 500 g (17.6oz) passata
- 1/2 tsp dried chopped thyme
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Ground black pepper
- Sugar to taste optional
For the meatballs
- 1 large onion chopped roughly
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/2 red bell pepper deseeded and roughly chopped
- Chilli to taste
- Large handful fresh coriander cilantro
- 500 g 17.6oz lean pork mince
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 50 g 2oz breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg beaten
- Oil for frying
- First start with the meatball sauce.
- Heat the olive oil and sweat the onion for about 5 mins until soft.
- Then add the garlic and chilli and fry for a minute.
- Mix in the passatta, thyme, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar and simmer for about 30 mins until done.
- Make the meatballs
- In a food processor mince together the onion, garlic, pepper, chilli and coriander till well chopped.
- Add this mixture to the pork mince and also add in the parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt, black pepper and egg.
- Combine everything together till well mixed.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry a very small amount of the meat mixture. Taste for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments.
- Then divide the meat mix into 24 portions and shape each portion into a meat ball between the palm of your hands.
- Then reheat oil in the frying pan and fry meat balls in batches making sure they are brown on each side and cooked through.
- When done serve the meatballs topped with the sauce and some cheese.