MEATBALL AND CHICKPEA PASTA
Serves 6 I love making meatballs with a tomato sauce. You can serve them as tapas on a Spanish-themed evening or with pasta as in this recipe. FOR THE SAUCE • 1 tbsp coconut oil • 1 red onion, finely chopped • 1 clove garlic, minced • 1 tsp dried oregano • 1 tsp cayenne pepper • 500g rosa tomatoes, halved • 6 plum tomatoes, diced • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar FOR THE MEATBALLS • 1 tbsp coconut oil • ½ brown onion, chopped • 1 clove garlic, minced • 1 tsp dried oregano • ½ green chilli • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves,
roughly chopped • ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs • 800g beef mince • 2 eggs • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
cheese, plus extra, for serving • salt and pepper • 250g chickpea pasta (or a pasta
substitute of your choice) • olive oil for drizzling • fresh basil leaves, for serving
1. Make the sauce first. In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the coconut oil and onion and fry for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, oregano and cayenne pepper, and stir. Add all the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar.
2. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring often. If it dries out, add a dash of water. Turn down the heat, pop the lid on and let it simmer for 45 minutes. Check on the sauce every now and again and add a dash of water if needed – you don’t want it to lose all of its moisture. 3. While the sauce is cooking,
make the meatballs .Ina medium-sized frying pan over medium heat, add the coconut oil and the onion, and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and chilli and fry for another 4 minutes, stirring often. Take off the heat and set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease a large roasting tray. In a large bowl, add the parsley, breadcrumbs and the beef. Using a fork, break up the mince. Add the eggs, Parmesan and cooked onion; season to taste. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together. Don’t overwork the meat as the meatballs will become tough. Mix so that the ingredients are just combined.
5. Using a tablespoon, measure out the mixture into equal-sized balls. Roll them around in your hands and place them on the greased roasting tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until they are cooked through.
6. Ten minutes before the meatballs are ready, cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Don’t overcook the pasta as it will cook further when added to the tomato sauce. Once done, drain the pasta and give it a good glug of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.
7. Once everything is ready, mix the sauce and pasta together, and top with the meatballs. Serve with some fresh basil and grated Parmesan.