Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Chianti Baked Meatballs

Not strictly a cake or dessert but they're baked! These are from Jo Pratt's 'In the Mood for Food'. I'd never heard of her and picked up this book at some point when I worked at Penguin (It's published by Penguin's Michael Joseph imprint) because it was just so pretty and pink and it's absolutely lovely! It is probably my favourite cook book in terms of looks and the recipes just look incredible - I have to confess that this is the only recipe I've made from it (three times and counting) but this is no reflection on the recipes in the book and everything to do with the fact that I have so many cook books and I try not to show favouritism and cook from all of them equally. It's divided into moods like 'In the Mood for being Healthy' and 'In the Mood for some Comfort' which is a nice way to split up a cookbook and if the rest of the recipes are anything like this one, then they'll be fab!

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!
Serves four
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)
50g breadcrumbs
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).

3 - Lightly toss the meatballs in the olive oil in an ovenproof sautè 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.


Chic Therapy said...

looks good!

Christine said...

Mmm I really just made this last night! Love meatballs : ) Thanks for checking out my page.. I like to do easy but cool makeup so I think you will like a lot of the stuff do... Make sure you follow ill be posting new stuff here shortly on some cool looks!


Vickii said...

Thanks ladies!

MsAfropolitan said...

Vickii, your cooking tips are great. Simple steps to follow, and the images are great and professional.
More! More! More! And veggie meals :)

Vickii said...

Thank you Minna! I'll dig out some veggie recipes just for you :D

1511th said...

I am going to make this actually, looks very yummy