Meatballs in Tomato Sauce… and Cake!

Last Sunday I spent a few hours looking through old cookbooks in my attic. A collection that is busting out of its seams, perhaps even a slight addiction. Some of those cookbooks have treasured recipes that I have made countless of times for my family and have since become favorites. A good example is Feast by Nigella Lawson. No birthday goes by without her old-fashioned chocolate cake. And what would Halloween be without slime soup or blood-and-guts potatoes? Nigella’s recipes (especially the ones found in her first books) bring back lots of fond memories.
Looking through Nigella Bites, I was reminded of her wonderful meatball recipe and decided I wanted to let it inspire me to make a nice Sunday evening meal. For some reason, I was craving meatballs with rice, smothered with thick, hearty tomato sauce. The results were absolutely delightful, so I’m sharing the recipe with you today.
And because no Sunday dinner would be complete without dessert, I decided to make her walnut coffee cake (found in Kitchen). Granted, it calls for an exorbitant amount of butter, but oh man was it delicious!

cake

Doesn’t it look good? It was gone in three days…

Now on to that recipe! PS: The tomato sauce is probably one of the best tomato sauces EVER. And no, not sponsored at all. For those in the Netherlands, the sauce is available at Albert Heijn.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Serves 3
meatballsintomatosauce

  • 500g ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • freshly-cracked pepper
  • 3 tbsps breadcrumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • Himalayan salt
  • freshly-cracked pepper
  • 1 bottle (330ml) Campisi Salsa Pronta di Pomodoro
  • 165ml water
  • 165ml milk
  • rice, to serve
  • chopped parsley, to garnish

Knead all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and shape into 9 meatballs. Refrigerate for 1 hour. To make the sauce, heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole and gently sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the milk) and cook for 5 minutes. NOTE: put the water in the bottle and shake to get out every bit! Stir in the milk and cook for a minute or so. Drop in the meatballs (you do not have to brown them), place a lid on the pan and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the meatballs over gently, place the lid back on the pan, this time slightly ajar, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the sauce to cook for three more minutes or so. Serve the meatballs with rice and sprinkle with parsley.

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