It’s spaghetti & meatballs tonight because Lovie told me at 3:30 this morning (long story….) his grandmother made the best meatballs ever. News flash Lovie… chef’s don’t like hearing this, I hear my meatballs aren’t good enough…I know, very mature of me…right?
So just to prove a point, I tried to make meatballs just like the grandmother did and failed BUT all is not lost, as they were pretty awesome, and I learnt a great trick which actually works.
500g steak mince
1x onion, grated
2 slices of plain white/brown bread
2 cloves of garlic, grated
30ml chopped parsley, finely chopped
30ml finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
Salt & Black pepper (seasoning)
Tear tiny pieces of bread and place in a bowl
Grate the onion and put the onion juice over thr torn bits of bread so the bread soaks up the juice…..this is a great trick….see Note below
Add the bread, garlic, onion, parsley, cheese, beaten egg and seasoning to the mince. Wet your hands and get stuck in mixing everything together.
Roll into meatball size (approx heaped Tbsp).By wetting your hands slightly makes rolling the meatballs much easier and gives them a nice smooth finish. Do not over – roll your meatballs as this will make them tougher.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan, add a little olive oil and gently add the meatballs – do not overload the pan.
Swivel the pan around so the meatballs brown from all sides. Cook for 5 min then remove and place the meatballs in the simmering tomato pasta sauce for a further 10 minutes (see recipe below).
**I usually cook my pasta sauce before I start making the meatballs and cook my spaghetti while frying my meatballs**
Tomato Pasta Sauce
1x can of whole peeled tomatoes
1x onion, finely chopped
2x cloves of garlic finely chopped
15ml crushed chilli flakes
30ml sugar – yes 30ml
Salt & Ground Black pepper
Fry the onions & chilli flakes in olive oil until soft & translucent. Add the garlic.
Add the can of whole tomatoes and sugar and bring to a gently boil. Rinse the can of tomato with a little cold water (60ml)and pour back over the tomato mix
Add salt & black pepper and test your seasoning.Remember tomatoes LOVE salt.
Lower your heat to low, place a lid on top and simmer for 30 minutes. Keep and eye on it….you want the sauce to reduce slightly and develop in flavour as it simmers.
To serve: Cook the spaghetti as per manufacturers guideline, then spoon over the hot tomato pasta sauce with meatballs …do not let the spaghetti get cold.
Garnish with Basil & finely grated Parmesan cheese.
Makes 8-10 meatballs
Note: By using bread and NOT breadcrumbs certainly creates a softer, moister meatball …apparently the soaked bread expands when cooked and sort of separates the beef mince almost creating little air pockets in the meatballs…..this really did make a HUGE difference. Thanks to Nag from http://www.recipetineats.com/ for this fabulous trick