I made these for my brothers birthday dinner (Happy birthday Seye!) with spaghetti, kinda home-made garlic bread and a Waldorf salad. They're pretty easy to make, really tasty and incredibly filling - I'm giving the recipe an 8 out of 10!
Takes about an hour to make
For the Meatballs
500g minced beef (I recommend using lean mince)
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
50g stoned black olives, chopped (I don't like olives so I leave these out)
25g finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 lightly beaten egg
1 teaspoon paprika
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
250ml Chianti red wine
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons caster sugar
a large handful of chopped basil
1 - Preheat the oven to 220ºC / fan 200ºC / gas mark 7
2 - To make the meatballs, all you need to do is mix everything together really well (this is much easier using your hands). Now, using wet hands, divide the mixture into about twelve large or twenty small balls (giving three large or five small meatballs per portion).
è pan or a roasting tray. Choose one that is just big enough to fit the meatballs, but not so small that they are squashed together or so big that the liquid evaporates too quickly, leaving less sauce.
4 - Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, and then pour over the Chianti, turning the meatballs so that they are coated in red wine. There may be some residue in the pan from the meat. This is fine, just stir it into the wine and it will all cook together to give a lovely flavour.
5 - Return to the oven for 10 minutes, and then stir in the chopped tomatoes, sugar and basil. Cook for a further 20-25 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and thickened. I usually cook for almost twice the recommended time as I find it brings out all the flavours of the sauce better and the taste isn't so tomatoey (yeah yeah, I know it's not a word!). Serve straight away with some pasta or baked rosemary potatoes.