Sunday, 1 February 2015

Childhood Food || Easy-Peasy Meatballs.

Sometimes you really just want a big bowl of food you ate as a child. If i'm honest, we ate a lot of spaghetti bolognese when I was growing up - but I have grown to love the meatball equivalent! I find that kids enjoy it a lot more, because it's something a bit less 'grown up' and they can get stuck in with their hands to help out. I made these a few weeks back with my cousin, as she's trying to learn a few basic dishes now that she's moved out. This is probably one of the easiest things to make if you can't really cook and want to seem like you can. Perfect for those who are starting out with cooking or as a recipe to get kids involved!

To make 24 of these, you will need:
1lb beef mince (you can also use a beef/pork mix)
1 medium yellow onion finely diced
2 tsp dijon mustard
150g breadcrumbs
30g grated parmesan
1 tbsp garlic granules
1.5 tsp dried oregano
0.5 tsp dried basil
1 tsp fresh basil
1 medium egg beaten
A generous pinch of salt & pepper
Olive Oil
For a quick and easy sauce:
2 400g tins plum/chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
Small bunch fresh basil shredded
2 cloves garlic minced
1 onion finely diced
1 bell pepper finely diced
1 tsp Chilli flakes (optional)
Half a glass of red wine
Olive Oil

The good news is, the process is easy! Tip all the ingredients for the meatballs into a bowl and get your hands in until it's thoroughly mixed together. Once satisfied (or once you've taken your anger out on it!) simply roll into small meatballs and place on a parchment paper lined tray and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil. Place in the fridge for 10-30 minutes to set. 

For the sauce, simply fire a glug of olive oil into a saucepan and add the onion and bell pepper and fry until very soft. Once soft, add in the garlic and the chilli flakes if you're using them, fry for a further 2-4 minutes. After this add in the wine and let it cook for a minute or so then add in the tomatoes, balsamic and sugar. If you're using whole plum tomatoes, break them up with the back of the spoon. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

While the sauce is simmering away, get your meatballs back out and brown the outside of them in a  frying pan quickly. Add to the sauce once browned and let this simmer away for around 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked - there should be no pinkness when split open. If the sauce becomes too thick at any point, just add a bit of water.

That's that. Add to the top of a hearty serving of pasta or polenta and prepare to have to open the top button of your jeans. If you have kids around, get them involved in making the first half of the meal (you know, the part without the open flame/hot stove) and I guarantee they'll be more interested in eating it! Don't worry about the wine in the recipe, as the alcohol is cooked off. However, if you are making this recipe for children I would omit the chilli flakes.

Do you have any easy childhood recipes? We'd love to see some of the other classics people have floating around!



  1. Just come across your blog

    It's lovely !!!!

    I am now following!!

    and I have shared your page

    would be amazing if you would check out my friend blog Jadiee'sLittleBlog and maybe comment or folllow her back

    thanks :)

    1. Thank you! :)

      I'll definitely check your friend's blog out - thanks!

  2. I love pasta and meatballs!!!
    This looks super yummy!!

    Stop by my blog sometime!!

    Marianna Papagiannopoulou BLOG

    1. Thanks Marianna, you have a really beautiful blog - will be adding to my blogroll! x


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