Saturday 27 May 2023

Recipe: meatballs in a tomato sauce - for my N S Slimming World group friends . . .

 . . . and anyone else who is interested.

(Thanks for the photo, Jen  xx)

Ingredients for meatballs: (for one to two portions depending on how many and what size meatballs you want.  For group, I did x 3 and it made twenty)
100g 5% lean pork mince
one Aldi rosemary and red onion sausage
quarter of a medium onion, finely chopped
15g finely grated cheddar (three syns or half a healthy extra A and it stops the mince being dry so don't miss it out)
seasonings to taste - I used black pepper, salt, garlic granules and mustard powder
spray oil

Place the finely chopped onion with some spray oil (e.g. frylight) in a mug and zap for one minute in the microwave.

Put all the ingredients (apart from the oil) in a blender and zizz until well mixed (or squidge with your hands - blended gives a finer texture).  Check the seasoning by lightly frying just a tiny bit in a pan and adjust seasoning if needed

Using dampened hands, shape mixture into meatballs.  Either place in a large frying pan, spray with oil and cook for around fifteen minutes or so, turning now and again 
place on parchment in a baking tray, spray with oil and bake at about 200 for around fifteen minutes

The idea is to brown them but not totally cook through.

Ingredients for tomato sauce (to make a batch - use what you need and freeze the rest for another time)
one can chopped tomatoes
one medium onion, chopped
stock (I like chicken stock for this but veg would work too)
a few roasted red peppers in brine from a jar, washed and drained
tomato puree - a good squidge
garlic granules or puree
balsamic vinegar
Henderson's relish (the veggie equivalent of Lea and Perrins)
salt and pepper to taste.

Place everything in a saucepan (I rinse the tomato can in half a can of water and add this), bring to a boil and simmer gently, covered, for twenty minutes or so until the onion is soft.  Blend until smooth and then I push it through a sieve to get rid of the very last 'woody' bits.  Check seasonings and adjust and dilute if it is too thick.

Tip the almost cooked meatballs into the sauce, stir them gently until covered, replace the pan lid and simmer very gently until all cooked through (it doesn't take long)

Have with pasta or rice, if you wish.


The meatballs:
Use beef, chicken or turkey mince as long as it is 5% or under.
Vary the seasonings to own taste or to match the meat - e.g. I fancy trying apple and onion with pork or adding some dried cranberries to chicken or turkey
Shape into a couple of burgers or sausages instead or meatballs.
Add one level tsp mixed seeds to the mixture (but don't blend if you want them to stay whole)

The sauce:
Again, vary seasonings to own taste.  It is nice with more chilli.
Make it chunky by adding softened veg after blending - mushroom, more pepper, baby corn, mange tout, etc
You don't have to use meatballs - it's very nice with chicken, etc, too
Add some soft cheese or some 0% yogurt for 'creaminess' - don't overboil or it splits!
Just use the sauce and add some more water or some milk - it makes a delicious soup.
A couple of spoonfuls of the thick sauce makes a nice sauce for a wrap or pitta pizza

The sauce with some teriyaki chicken from an Iceland skewer, some sliced mushroom and some spaghetti.  Yummy!

One portion of meatball mix, made with beef mince and shaped into two burgers.
(Really it should have done me two meals)

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