A few weeks ago I went to dinner at a friends house. She is also a foodie, and had wanted to make this particular recipe for dinner. There was a lot going on, so I landed up making the meatballs. That night we doubled the quantities, and substituted some of the spices, added others and generally had a lot of fun in a collaborative cooking effort. There was a lot of wine.
The results were fantastic so thought I’d like to share with you.
I know meatballs are pretty everyday and ordinary. Italian meatballs in tomato sauce with spaghetti have to be one of my favourite comfort meals.
These meatballs are a little bit different, and I just loved the cinnamon, cumin and coriander flavours. So warm and comforting. Your home will smell fantastic while you cook. There is a lot of garlic and I love the way the sweetness of the peas explode in your mouth adding a whole new texture and taste dimension.
The tomato sauce is not that spicy, so next time I would add at least 1/2 teaspoon on chilli.
This recipe will serve 4-6 people, depending on how big the eaters.
what you need for the meatballs:
- 350 – 450gms mince (the original recipe is for half pork and half veal mince)
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I left this out)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp olive oil to fry
For the tomato sauce:
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
- 400gm – 425g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbs tomato paste
- 125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 80 – 125g frozen peas
How to make:
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft
- add the garlic and cook for a minute
- increase the heat and and add the wine and allow to boil for about a minute
- add all the rest of the ingredients and allow to gently simmer
- while its simmering make the meatballs
- Mix all the meatball ingredients in a bowl by hand
- Roll about a tablespoon into balls or bigger if you prefer
- heat the oil in a frying pan and then gently fry the balls, turning frequently until brown
- drain on kitchen paper
- add the meatballs (they can be uncooked all the way through) to the tomato sauce and cook for about 5 minutes
- Add the peas about 5 minutes before serving
Serve with pasta or crusty Italian bread
Unless I’m testing, I never follow a recipe when I make a tomato sauce. I just add what I’m in the mood for and adjust the seasoning as I go. The same should apply with this sauce. I think a bit of chilli or smoked chilli would be very nice here and would compliment the very aromatic meatballs. It’s got a slight North African vibe to it.
I would also use pork mince next time instead of beef, I never eat veal.
I am not sure if these turned out as well as Laeni and my joint effort, but pretty tasty nevertheless.
Born up a tree!