Now that we’ve turned the clocks back, we Brits can officially complain about everything again. The weather being too cold, too rainy or too windy. There will be leaves on the line, Boris will have run out of grit for the London roads – our grumpiness escalates throughout the winter until we all have to clam up and pretend like we’re really excited about the English summer that seems to be less and less visible.
At this time of year I find it very difficult not to spend my evenings curled up in front of the TV with something very unhealthy, very comforting, but very full of fat and calories. So, this winter I am determined to not put on any weight – I am going to join a gym and I fortunately have someone to force to actually use it. So, in theory I could lose weight this winter (hmmmm, not sure I can see that happening – I tend to lose focus on these things).
Last night’s dinner was just perfect, proper comfort food – not too unhealthy either…
For the meatballs:
500g Lean beef mince
¼ onion, finely chopped
¼ garlic clove, very finely chopped
1 heaped tsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tsp tomato puree
A couple of pinches of Paprika
Salt & Pepper
1 medium egg
For the sauce:
1 carton chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp red wine
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp sugar
Salt & Pepper
- Wash your hands
- Put all the meatball ingredients into a bowl and scrunch it all together using your hands, the best way to do this is squidge it between your fingers until it’s smooth-ish. Sounds a bit odd I know but using your hands really is the best way
- Roll the mince in to meatballs about the size of a cherry tomato. I made LOADS! If you’re only cooking for 2 people, or just yourself, this is the point at which you should freeze them. If you are freezing them – try not to let them be touching, I froze them on a tray and then put them all in a smaller box a day later when they were all frozen – you can then take a few out at a time…
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and gently fry the meatballs and gently fry them until they have a little colour all the way round, take them out of the pan and let them rest on a plate with some kitchen roll underneath
- Now here’s the saucy bit – god I’ve got to do something about my dodgy sense of humour – Shlop the tin or carton of chopped tomatoes into a small saucepan and gently heat
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil
- It’s important to taste this sauce as tomatoes can be quite sharp and adding wine doesn’t help, so sugar is essential
- CAREFULLY pour the tomato mix into a blender or a tall jug to use the infamous ‘souper’. Blend the sauce and return it to the saucepan
- Boil a kettle, pour into a saucepan, add salt, olive oil and pasta, cook until it’s done (I can’t believe I’ve just given a direction on how to cook pasta – hmmmm)
- About halfway through the pasta cooking time, turn the heat back on under the tomato sauce, add the meatballs and gradually – I mean gradually – heat it up. If all goes to plan, it’ll be just right for when the pasta is cooked – I am a GENIUS!
- This can be served one of three ways:
- Pasta on the plate, then meatballs, then sauce on top
- Stir SOME of the sauce through the pasta, pop it on the plate, meatballs and sauce on top
- Mix the whole lot together, serve on a huge plate – Lady and the Tramp Style – just try to resist pushing the last meatball along the plate with your nose – not a good look
- I recommend a little bit of cheddar on the top of this – I think, sorry if this is blasphemous, the Parmesan would be wasted on this dish
I’m going to try to give timings for my recipes from now on so that you know how much of your well-earned evening in this cooking malarkey is going to take up!
This took about 1 hour.
But, I will add, you’ve got about 2 or 3 more evening meals with the meatballs that you’ve frozen!!