Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Update 19/09/2005: I had left out a few steps on this originally, so I'm re-publishing. I have a recipe for Meatballs with Tomato Sauce which is based mainly on Sophie Grigson's recipe in her Meat Course Book. That is one of the best Cookbooks of the past few years but sadly is out of print now. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Meat Book is a pretty good alternative for carnivores. My family rave about this meal when I cook it and I have to admit to being partial to it myself. All of the amounts are approximate (use your judgement). For the Meatballs: 2 lbs minced beef 1 lb sausages 3 tbs milk 1 egg 2 slices white pan (crusts removed) parsley to taste (couple of tbs chopped) 6 cloves garlic minced (or more if you like) For the sauce: 5 cans plum tomatoes basil to taste (loads!) parsley to taste (couple of tbs chopped) 3 cloves garlic minced (or more if you like) 1 tbs red wine vinegar Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I prefer Filippo Berrio) To make the sauce: Cover the bottom of a medium pan with the oil and put on medium heat Add 3 cloves of  the garlic. Cook gently for a few moments but do not let it get brown Add all of the tomatoes Cook down gently for 20-30 mins breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon Add parsley about half way When it is well broken down, add red wine vinegar cook a few minutes more Check acidity - add sugar to taste to soften it. This varies with every can of tomatoes. Meanwhile To make the meatballs: Add bread to milk in a bowl and soak for a few mins Peel sausages (or use sausagemeat) and add to a large bowl Add minced beef, soaked bread and egg Add the rest of the garlic Add a good pile of parsley Season well with salt and pepper If you are very anal, cook a bit of this mix in a pan, check the seasoning and adjust. Mix together very well by hand Make the balls from this to whatever size you like (golf-ball is a good compromise). Add oil to a frying pan and apply medium to high heat Brown the meatballs well in batches so that they are well cooked on the outside. Do not over-fill the pan or the meatballs will not get a nice dark colour Add cooked meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for another fifteen minutes or so. Add water if sauce has gone too thick A few minutes before the end, add tons of basil and then add salt/pepper to taste. Serve with spaghetti and loads of freshly grated parmesan. Notes: There are a million tomato sauce recipes. Use whatever you prefer e.g. add onion or oregano or red wine or whatever. I just like this simple one in this case. I'm sure I've forgotten something above so don't blame me if it is kak.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland