Life is uncertain. Eat Dessert first.

Winter Warmer – Meatballs with Herb and Tomato Sauce

After trudging around outside in the snow this morning, I wanted something rich and flavoursome to warm me up when I got home. I checked the fridge and the cupboards, and I had nearly everything I needed to make meatballs and tomato sauce from the Avoca Cafe Cookbook.

I started on the sauce first, gently frying 2 finely chopped onions in olive oil for about ten minutes. I then added a couple of cloves of garlic, 2 cans of tomatoes, a glass of red wine, a pinch of sugar, and some salt and pepper. I left that to simmer on a low heat while I started making the meatballs.

In a bowl, I mixed together a packet of mince (about 600g), about 75g of grated Mossfield Organic cheese (the recipe calls for Mozzarella), a sprinkle of dried Oregano (fresh if you have any), about three-quarters of 2 lightly beaten eggs, a grated onion, a grated garlic clove, three teaspoons of pesto and some salt and pepper. I formed this into balls about the size of a golf ball, rolled them in flour and then flattened them slightly. I fried them in two batches in olive oil, browning them gently.

Once all the meatballs were finished I added them gently to the tomato sauce, and left it uncovered on a low heat for about forty minutes. I added some chopped fresh basil at this stage too. It only needs a very gentle stir every so often to prevent them sticking – don’t be too vigorous or the meatballs may break up. The tomato sauce should have reduced by about half by the time you add the meatballs, if it looks like it has reduced too much don’t be afraid to add half a glass of water and bring it back to a simmer before adding the meatballs.

When it’s ready, serve on pasta plates with a sprinkle of fresh basil, and eat with some nice crusty bread for a hearty, warming lunch.

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