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Italian Meatballs

When you want to make a pasta dish to impress, this is an easy meat alternative to a vegetarian dish like Aubergine Parmigiana. The two dishes go really well together - you an serve the meatballs without sauce on the side of the Aubergine Parmigiana, or you can sauce them up.


500g Pork mince

500g Beef mince

3 slices of bread, crusts removed and cut up into small squares

150ml milk, with 1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg added

Handful of fresh basil or parsley, chopped

1 large red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder

2 eggs, whisked with a fork

100g grated parmesan

1 tablespoon of tomato puree or tomato sauce

couple of tablespoons of olive oil for frying the onions and frying meat balls

2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs may be required if the mixture turns out quite wet

3-4 tablespoons of plain flour

This makes about 48 meat balls.

600g homemade tomato sauce is sufficient for half of the meat ball mixture - which serves 4. If you are serving all the meat balls at the same time, double the quantity of sauce.

I usually put half the meat balls in the freezer for another time. (They can be frozen with or without sauce.)


Put the bread cubes in a medium sized bowl and pour over the milk and nutmeg mixture. Leave to soak through for a few minutes.

Heat a sauteuse pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and saute gently for about 3-5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the chopped garlic and cook gently for 1-2 minutes.

Place the onion in the base of a big mixing bowl.

Add the mince beef and mince pork to the onions in the big bowl, and mix the meat with the onions with your hands. Add the bread and milk mixture, along with the parmesan, basil/parsley, chilli powder, and tomato puree/sauce, and continue to mix it up with your hands. Added the eggs (whisked with a fork) to the mixture and mix some more. If it feels very wet or loose add another few tablespoons of breadcrumbs.

Now make the balls of meat using your hands. First put a couple of tablespoons of plain flour onto a dinner plate. Lift out dessert spoonfuls of the mixture and roll each one into a ball in your hands. Lightly roll in the flour, and place on another plate, ready for frying. The mixture should make about 48 meatballs.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas Mark 4.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauteuse pan, and gently fry the meatballs in batches until lightly browned on all side. Set the meat balls into an oven dish when cooked (as many as you wish to use). Pour over the tomato sauce.

Cover with tin foil and put in the oven for 20 minutes whilst you cook the spaghetti. Serve with French bread and salad.

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