As we are heading into autumn and the weather is turning cooler, I am increasingly turning to my delicious and comforting homemade meatballs for a quick and totally satisfying supper. The meatballs are super easy to make - I just chuck the mince and spices into a large mixing bowl, shape into balls and then grill for 20 minutes. Whilst these are cooking, I make a homemade tomato sauce - rich, garlicy and slightly naughty with a small glug of red wine! The result is a high-protein, fresh and spicy supper that is not only yummy, but low-fat too.
For the meatballs:
500g British lamb mince (lean)
2 small white onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Thumb piece of fresh ginger, chopped into thin strips
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. salt
1 large free-range egg
Handful of mint, chopped
For the sauce:
750g ripe, fresh tomatoes
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A pinch of red chilli flakes
1 tin of peeled and chopped plum tomatoes
A good glug of red wine (optional)
Grab a large mixing bowl and add the lamb mince. Use a fork to break the mince up. Add to the mince your chopped onions, crushed garlic, chopped ginger, chilli, mint and all of your spices and salt. Also break in an egg into the mixing bowl. Use your hands and mix everything together.
Cover the mince and leave to marinate in the fridge, for a minimum one hour.
When you are ready to cook the meatballs, shape into small balls.
Preheat the grill to medium. Place the meatballs on a well-oiled baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes, turning frequently.
While the meatballs are cooking, start preparing the tomato sauce.
Peel the fresh tomatoes by plunging them first in boiling water, then in cold, at which point the skins should slip off. Then chop them roughly.
Heat 4 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pan and cook the garlic on a low heat until it is slightly browned and fragrant.
Add the chopped tomatoes and chilli flakes, and cook for five minutes. Then add the tinned tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Finish by adding a good glug of red wine, and cook for a further five minutes.
Take the sauce of the heat, and drop your cooked meatballs into the sauce until submerged.
Serve in a large bowl, with brown spaghetti or brown rice and finish with chopped fresh mint.