Mighty meatballs make marvellous meals
Fact: People love meatballs.
It is strange that this humble unassuming food can evoke such a reaction, but they really are simple, affordable and pack so much into one little flavour bomb!
There are far more attractive terms for the word meatball. The Egyptian kofta, the Greek keftethes, the Swedish kO¨etbullar, the Danish frikadeller, and the Brazilian almondegas sound far more exotic and interesting than meatball.
Many nations and cultures have laid claim to this infamous dish, however, it is not really known where it first originated. Some researchers claim that there are recipes that come from the Roman times that date back to 25 AD.
You can arm this mince-based meal with a huge variety of flavours and ingredients to transform a usually dull ingredient into a taste sensation. They are very economical per kilogram, and other ingredients can be used to pack-out the meat so it can stretch further. Pork and lemon meatballs with classic tomato sauce and spaghetti.
Photo: BEC STANLEY
There is no shortage of interesting options you can add to ameatball. You can use all varieties of mince meats from the obvious – beef, chicken, pork, lamb and even turkey. This way the meatball can make a variety of appearances at your dinner table. Here’s a few different combinations to try:
Chicken with kaffir lime, coriander and chilli; pork meatballs with chorizo and paprika; Moroccan meatballs with ground cumin, coriander and paprika; meatballs with minestrone; Spanish meatballs with almonds, paprika and red onion; sweet and sour meatballs; ginger chicken meatballs; veal and pinenut meatballs stuffed with mozzarella.
These delectable little balls of goodness are something the whole family will enjoy.
Don’t be scared off by the anchovy, they just give the dish that little flavour punch it needs but will be undetectable to most palates.
Pork and Lemon Meatballs with Classic Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti Prep Time: Cook Time: Ingredients Meatballs
15 mins 20 mins 500g free range pork mince 70g breadcrumbs (or I used 2 pieces of bread and blended in food processor) 60ml milk 3 anchovy fillets finely chopped 2 cloves garlic crush 1 good handful chopped flat leaf parsley 5-6 tablespoons grated Parmesan 2 tablespoons rosemary chopped finely 1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cans of chopped tomatoes 1 onion diced 2 cloves garlic crushed 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon dried basil (use fresh if you have it) 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 5 mins 2. In a large bowl combine the mince, cheese, parsley, rosemary, lemon juice, anchovy and soaked breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Make your basic tomato sauce. Heat a pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add in your onion and cook for about 5 mins until softened. Add in your garlic and dried basil (if using fresh add at the end) and cook for a further 2 mins. 4. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and simmer for around 15 mins. Season with salt and pepper. 5. While this is simmering, roll your meatballs. Take a heaped tablespoon of mince mixture and roll in ball then pop on to a tray with baking paper. You should be able to make about 25 meatballs. You can vary the size, I just tend to make bite size for the kids for ease. 6. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil to a medium heat and cook meatballs in batches of about 8-10 for 4-5 mins until golden and cooked through. 7. Cooked your spaghetti according to the pack. Drain and pop into a large serving platter. Place meatballs on top then pour over the tomato sauce and garnish with either chopped parsley or fresh basil and grated Parmesan. Traditionally you would mix the sauce through your pasta before serving. Serves 4-5