Monday is always my fresh start food-wise. I do the weekly shop and my meal planning and I have all this enthusiasm for cooking every night. That doesn’t last, of course and by Friday we’re eating pizza but here’s one of my Monday staples that the entire family enjoys, with a little twist.
I don’t weight or measure anything (which is probably why I make these so often) so I have no specific recipe for you however that is the beauty of meatballs, they can be whatever you want them to be. I use lean beef mince (I tend to go large on quantities so I have leftovers and can cook maybe 20/25 of these in one pan comfortably. I would say the basics are breadcrumbs (I whizz up a slice with my hand blender), salt and pepper and an egg to bind the mixture together but from there it’s all to taste. I like oregano, onions, garlic and even grated cheese in mine but you can add whatever you like. Initially I mix together with a fork but I’m afraid there’s no getting away from getting your hands dirty, at some point you need to roll them up in to balls. I prefer bitesize but I can never make them small enough.. just be mindful that the larger they are the longer they’ll need to cook.
For the sauce I use plum tomatoes, I whizz them with my hand blender and I think they give a thicker sauce than using chopped or passata. The longer you cook the sauce ahead of adding the meatballs the better it will be, ideally you want an hour. I cook the tomatoes for around 20 minutes before adding a small cup of water, another of milk, salt, pepper and any other seasoning (oregano/basil/garlic etc) I fancy. After another 20 minutes on the hob I pop in the meatballs (carefully), cover and cook for a final 20. If the meatballs feel like they’re holding together you can give it a stir halfway through.. if you are making quite a few this is a good idea.
I recently started adding Courgetti to my spaghetti and I was surprised that all of the adults (the kids weren’t in to it) all enjoyed it. I would have told you I didn’t like courgette having only had it sliced previously but in thin strands it’s very mild and adds a nice texture. Brilliant for anyone (like me) who doesn’t eat enough greens and great if you’re trying to make healthier choices but still want some comfort food.