baked meatballs & tomato sauce

This recipe has had a tweak recently as I was never really satisfied with the original. I'm glad to say though that I think I've finally got it right! I use a mixture of beef & pork as this makes them moist & juicy.

The tomato sauce definitely benefits from the addition of sun-dried tomatoes, you get a much deeper tomato flavour! I buy mine from Home Bargains or Lidl where they are great value for money & a useful addition to your store cupboard!

Also I recommend garlic powder for the meatball flavouring as it's easy to use & available in supermarkets. East End garlic powder is available in Tesco at 99p for 100g again, great value & another useful store cupboard ingredient! If you can't get any don't worry just use a couple of crushed garlic cloves.

 

Serves 4-6 (12 meatballs) Approx 75p-£1.20 per person

Prep time 15 minutes Cooking 30 minutes for the sauce then 45-50 minutes in the oven

Ingredients

500g pork mince

500g beef mince

1 tsp paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli powder

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

pinch of salt

1 tin tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 ½ tsp dried basil

3 sun-dried tomatoes from a jar, finely chopped

salt & pepper

1 tsp sugar

Heat 1 tbsp of oil & I tbsp butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Cook the onion until starting to soften then add the garlic & basil. Cook for another minute before stirring in the tomato puree & sundried tomatoes.

Cook again for one minute then pour in the tinned tomatoes fill the tin with water halfway & add that too.

Allow to simmer for 5 minutes then season with salt & pepper & add the sugar.

Simmer again for about 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced & thickened. Remove from the heat.

Pre-heat the oven 180Fan/200C/Gas6.

Place the pork & beef mince into a large bowl & mix together with your hands.

Add the paprika, cayenne, pepper & garlic powder to the mince along with a pinch of salt & mix again with your hands. *If you want to avoid getting any spices on your hands wear rubber gloves!

Once its all mixed together divide the mince into 12 equal pieces & roll each piece into a ball. Alternatively you can use an ice cream scoop, I find it so much easier & the meatballs are all nice & uniform!

Put the meatballs into a baking tin or dish.

Now you can pour the sauce over the meatballs as it is or whizz in a blender to make it a little smoother then pour over.

Cover the dish with foil & bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the foil & top the meatballs with some grated cheese if you want to then return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread, corn bread, pasta or rice!

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