Thursday, 30 June 2011

Italian Lamb Meatballs

I had half a pack (200g) lamb mince left over from the redcurrant burgers and decided to use it to make little meatballs in tomato sauce for dinner.

First thing, I wandered into the garden and picked some oregano and marjoram, to supplement the parsley and basil I already had in the fridge. Then I diced a couple of small onions, several cloves of garlic, a celery stalk and half a long chilli, along with the stalks from the parsley and basil.

I fried up that lot until cooked and then separated half out to cool on the side for a minute. To the remaining oniony mix, still in the pan, I added a tin of chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree. Left that to simmer and got on with the meatballs.

The lamb mince went into a mixing bowl with plenty of salt and pepper, a handful of the herbs (chopped finely) and the rest of the onion mixture. Squished it all up by hand and then divided into eight little balls. These went onto a foil covered baking tray, coated in a little olive oil. Into the oven at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes.

I cooked some green beans and set them out on the side with the remaining herbs and a lemon. By this time, the tomato sauce was bubbling away, so I added a shot of vodka and a peice of parmesan heel, along with half a chopped red pepper. Down to a very low heat and left to simmer. 
The pasta went on about 15 minutes before the meatballs would be ready, I like spirali so I used them, anything would do though. I reused the bean water to cook the pasta.

When the meatballs came out of the oven I transferred them into the tomato sauce, along with the green beans, the herbs (torn, rather than cut, this time), a sqeeze of lemon juice, a few spoonfuls of pasta water, salt, pepper and a little sugar. Finally I served up with the pasta on the bottom and the meatballs and tomato sauce on the top. A grating of parmesan and it's done. Yum.

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