Rain, exhaustion, and relationship-status-reality meant for a long, unproductive Monday that was only going to be cured by some solid time in the kitchen and a steaming bowl of baked meatballs in tomato sauce, served on mash with parmesan and parsley. Followed by a cup of tea and some fresh-from-the-oven apple and berry crumble slice. It was very similar to this one here, but I used apples and mixed spice instead of rhubarb. So good. Even though it was only yesterday I was enjoying a beer under the sunny Martinborough sky, picking fresh herbs (see parsley below) and dreaming about summer, today most definitely required comfort food.
Baked Meatballs in tomato sauce
This is based on a Donna Hay recipe, but I halved it to serve 4. I also only had beef mince, but I had two little gourmet pork and apple sausages leftover from last night, and I used the insides of them in this mix.
*2 slices white bread (I used Freyas Rye and it was really good)
*1/3 cup milk
*500g beef mince (or ideally half/half with pork mince)
*1 egg, lightly beaten
*just under 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
*1/4 cup chopped parsely (the recipe says flat leaf; I used curly)
*2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
*1 tblsp olive oil (I used chilli infused)
*1 tin of chopped tomatoes
*I also added a wee sprinkle of mixed spice, some finely chopped fresh mint, and plenty of flaky sea salt and cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 220*C. Place bread in a bowl and pour over milk. Set aside for 5 minutes to absorb.
Tear the bread into pieces and place in a large bowl with the mince, egg, parmesan, parsley and garlic. Mix well to combine. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place them in a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown.
Add the tin of tomatoes (if they're too chunky, add a little stock or water) plus two extra whole cloves of garlic. Stir to combine and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the sauce is warmed through.
Serve over mash, or spaghetti or in a baguette. Sprinkle with extra grated parmesan and extra chopped parsley. Enjoy, feel comforted, and cheer up!