I put a call out on my Facebook page a while back to see what recipes you lovely blog readers would like to see: Speedy savoury dinners seemed to be a bit of a popular theme! Well, you said, I’m delivering.
This speedy meatball recipe totally fries my burger as I can get this dinner on the table within 25 minutes, while multi-tasking with those those tedious domestic activities like supervising homework and getting lunches ready for the following day. This recipe is also really versatile: Haven’t got pesto? Add a sauce (sweet chilli sauce, tomato paste, BBQ sauce, hell, tomato sauce if you like). Don’t like/haven’t got cheese? Leave it out. If you want to speed things up, use a pre-made pasta sauce (I make pasta sauce in bulk from scratch and keep it in the cupboard in sterilised jars… Since Operation Sugar Reduction I find pre-made pasta sauces like Dolmio far too sweet).
Lastly, here’s a tip: Make double the meatball recipe (get the kids to help you with the rolling) and keep them to cook the next night. Stuff them into wholemeal pita breads, or roll them up in tortillas. Add salad and your favourite sauces/dressing (mayonnaise, pesto, hummus, sweet chilli sauce, you get the idea). This is another speedy, popular, tasty and healthy mid week dinner.
Serves 4 hungry humans (I double it, as already stated!)
For the Meatballs
500g beef mince
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, soaked in 2 tablespoons of milk for a minute or two
1 small onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaped tablespoon of pesto (any kind) – My recipe is here (you can use coriander or basil for the recipe)
3/4 cup grated ‘hard cheese’ like Parmesan, vintage Cheddar (Tasty cheese is fine too)
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp dried herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, oregano, mixed herbs – whatever you have on hand! Or use 1/4 c fresh herbs of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Good grind of black pepper
Pasta sauce: Make your own, or in the essence of speed, grab a jar of pre-made stuff
Couple of handfuls of baby spinach
Spaghetti: Dried or fresh, cooked as per the back of the packet
Extra grated cheese: To sprinkle on top at the end
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (normal bake). Line a roasting pan with baking paper (or just oil it!)
- Boil the jug to get the water ready for the spaghetti (faster than bringing it to the boil). Cook the spaghetti as per the instructions on the back of the packet.
- Combine all the meatball ingredients together. I use my hands. Faster.
- Using wet hands (so the mixture doesn’t stick) shape the mixture into balls about halfway between the size of walnuts and golf balls (!). Place your balls on the baking paper/oiled roasting pan.
- Bake at 180 degrees for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.
- By now the spaghetti should be cooked. Drain the water and pop the spaghetti back in the saucepan and add the pasta sauce of your choice along with the spinach. Stir over a low heat until the sauce has heated through the spaghetti.
- Serve up: Place the spaghetti on a plate, top with the meatballs and finish off with a sprinkle of cheese.