Time saver: this recipe is adapted from one of the Annabelles, I can’t remember which one. I’m pretty sure in the original recipe they use lamb mince, and that’s not my jam (but I wouldn’t stop you from doing it).
Because the meatballs are so delicious you really only need a simple sauce – it’s been a while since I wrote this recipe up, so these days I might go for a simpler sauce than I’ve given here. Either way, it’s a delicious meal, just like mamma used to make, if your mamma was Phil.
On with the show, serves 5-6.
- 1kg minced beef
- 200g feta
- 100g pitted black olives, chopped into eighths (around 25 olives)
- 2 thick slices of bread, crusts removed (plus cold water to dampen)
- 1 egg
- Ground black pepper
- ½ cup shredded fresh basil/coriander/parsley
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Additional oil for frying
- 2x 400g tin peeled chopped tomatoes
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- ¼ c red wine
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Oil for frying onion
- 500g pasta – e.g. fettucine, spaghetti… (plus plenty of salted water to cook in)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Optional: Small amount grated parmesan, and fresh herbs to garnish.
- Heat oil in a small pot, then sauté the onion and garlic till clear.
- Add the tomatoes, sugar, oregano, thyme, salt, wine, black pepper.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat, and either blend in a blender, or use the stick mix to create a smooth, lump-free sauce.
- Return to a low heat and simmer gently. Add more wine/salt/pepper if required.
PUT A LARGE POT OF SALTED WATER FOR THE PASTA ON TO HEAT
- Put the mince, olives, egg, fresh herbs, and olive oil in a large bowl.
- Add the feta, crumbling it into small pieces.
- Moisten the bread with cold water, squeeze it slightly so it no longer drips, then crumble into the bowl.
- Combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Shape meatballs and place on a plate. About 1 large tablespoon at a time, rolled quickly between your palms to make a meatball. (Should make around 28-30 meatballs of this size.)
PASTA SHOULD BE PUT IN THE POT TO COOK AT THIS POINT
- Heat oil in a large hot frying pan.
- Fry the meatballs until cooked through, turning every 2-3 minutes. This should take around 8-10 minutes, but may take longer depending on the size of the meatballs and heat of the pan.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it quickly and return it to the pot. Stir through the tablespoon of olive oil, coating it (and preventing it from sticking).
- Dish up the pasta into large bowls.
- Dish out the meatballs on top of the pasta.
- Cover the meatballs with the pasta sauce.
- Optionally, sprinkle a little grated parmesan on the top, and garnish with a sprig of fresh herbs.
- Don’t forget a glass of red wine.