Monday, 6 December 2010

Meatball Mania.....

I have to admit that Meatballs have, and probably always will be, my guilty pleasure. Get them right and they are succulent little mouthfuls of pure satisfaction. Comfort food at its greatest and perfect for a Monday night in front of the TV with a small glass of red!

Ive noticed recently that I am not the only one admitting to my meatball fetish, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Nigella have all been confessing too!

This recipe is also perfect for boys who believe that the only two dinners that they can cook are spag bowl and chili con carne.

So here is my Meatball and Quinoa recipe that will should hopefully leave you dribbling for more...

Meatballs with Quinoa and Tomato Sauce

Quick note: For those of you that haven’t heard of Quinoa, it is a crunchy grain/crop that has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as it protein content is very high (12-18%) unlike wheat or rice. It works really well with this recipe as it adds a crunchy texture and also makes this a rather healthy dinner!!


For the Meatballs
100g Breadcrumbs
500g minced Beef
250g mince Pork (or just buy some good quality sausages and squeeze out the meat from the skin!)
1 tbsp fresh Rosemary finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh Coriander finely chopped
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
2 eggs
2 tbsp Mustard (either Dijon or whole grain!)
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

For the Quinoa and Tomato Sauce
400g Quinoa
2 pints veg stock
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil roughly chopped (save a few leaves for the garnish!)
Half a red chilli, de seeded and finely chopped
2 x 400g Tins of Chopped tomatoes (you can now get tinned cherry tomatoes which are deliciously sweet...if you can get them do!).
1 lemons juice
200g Frozen Petit Pois
Grated Parmesan

For the meatballs. Add all the ingredients together and mix well with your hands. Season. The mixture will make 28 meatballs, so split the mixture in quarters and then each quarter into 7. Drizzle olive oil over the balls and pop in the fridge.

Pop the Quinoa in the veg stock and cook for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile to make the tomato sauce, fry of the onion for about 5 mins, then add the garlic, chili and basil a cook for a further 2-3 mins. Then add the tomatoes, lemon juice and peas. Bring to the boil, then reduce and cook for another 10 mins.

While the Quinoa and the tomato sauce are cooking, fry the meatballs in olive oil. Use a large frying pan, you may have to do this in batches. They should take about 8 mins to cook to golden brown. 

When cooked, combine the tomato sauce and Quinoa (you don’t need to drain the Quinoa), then add to the meatballs. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. I like to serve this in a big bowl placed in the middle of the tale so everyone can help themselves!

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