Friday, 28 March 2008

Spicy Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Mama Mia! That's a spicy meatball! As they say in the old Alka Seltzer advert! It's hard to cook meatballs without saying that, or without saying 'Bada-bing, bada-boom' in a Noo York Italian accent. Or maybe that is just me. Have a look at the video clip and then do some mock American Italian accents and tell me you don't fancy meat balls!

Anyway, today's dinner was spicy meatballs with a spicy tomato sauce, peas and pasta. I am quite pleased with the pictures taken during the preparation, but the pics of the finished product are a bit disappointing - I was starving by this point, we had been to the gym this evening.

This makes about 15 meatballs, enough for 2 large portions, 4 smaller ones. It depends how hungry you are.

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 birds eye chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • Handful peas
  • Pasta to serve with
For the tomato sauce, chop half the onion, 1 clove garlic and 1 chilli. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pan, then fry the onions, chilli and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the tin of tomatoes and bay leaf and cook on a low heat for about 10 or 15 minutes, with a lid on.

For the meatballs, very finely chop the rest of the onion, garlic and chilli and add to the minced beef in a bowl. Add in the dried basil and season well with salt and pepper. Now you need to get your hands dirty, this is the fun part! Mix all this together with your hands until its pretty evenly mixed.

Now divide the beef up, you will probably get about 12-15 meatballs from this amount of meat. Roll up into balls using your hands, as shown below and modelled using my own hands. This is quite good fun - probably good fun for kids as well if you have any to help out, careful of the chillies though, make sure to wash hands afterwards.

Now heat the remainder of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Not much olive oil is needed, just to give a flavour to it, because a lot of oil comes out of the beef. On medium to high heat, fry the meat balls to brown the outside, then pour over the sauce and reduce the heat.

Simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked right through, just split one open and try it to make sure.

Whilst the meatballs are simmering, cook your pasta according to the pack instructions. About two minutes before the end of cooking, add the peas into the water. Return to the boil, and then drain.

Serve in bowls with the meatballs and tomato sauce over the top of the pasta, with parmesan grated on top.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


ruthEbabes said...

I love meatballs!!!! These look soooo good, I think I'll have to make some tonight now!

Cooking and the City said...

Ryan I've been reading thru your blog & am really enjoying it. these meatballs look delicious :-)

Dell xo

Ryan said...

Thanks Dell, really glad you like it! Thanks to your comments I have now discovered your Cooking in the City! I like the spag bol recipe. I will have to post up my variation of it on my blog at some point, next time I make it!

I have put a link to your blog on my recipe site. Maybe you could link back to me!

Cooking and the City said...

Hi again Ryan, have added your link, thanks for adding mine :-)

Dell xo