Meatball Surprise with Tomato Sauce

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Meatball Surprise with tomato sauce

£1.10 per person (including spaghetti)

Friday night has always been something of a celebration in our house. I don’t need to tell you it’s the end of work & school and Monday morning seems such a long time off!

I’m the kind of girl that associates every celebration with some kind of food. I mean, they just go hand in hand so perfectly. A birthday? Get out the cake…Christmas? Lets roast a turkey…Valentines? Where’s that fondue? …Easter….Find me an egg….do I need to go on?

The point I’m making is that Friday is special to me. So it makes perfect sense to indulge in some delicious food. I love pasta (it doesn’t love me) but my friend once told me that you can’t get fat on the weekend! I believe her, so let’s make some spaghetti….

It takes a little longer than some of my other recipes, but that’s ok I’m in no rush to get to bed because did I forget to mention it’s Friday?

I saw a video on facebook recently of somebody hiding mozzarella inside meatballs….we LOVE mozzarella in our house, so sorry to be a spoiler but that is the ‘surprise’. Obviously if you don’t like cheese then leave it out and save yourself 43p.

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Meatball Surprise with Tomato Sauce

Ingredients (makes 18 meatballs)

  • 600g best beef mince (£3.00 Crawshaws butcher)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (leftover from some rolls at xmas- I grated them and chucked them in a food bag in the freezer on boxing day)
  • 1 ball mozzarella – 43p (Aldi)
  • 1 medium onion – 9p (Aldi)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic – 9p
  • Dried Spaghetti – 10p (Aldi)
  • Tomato Passata – 35p (Aldi)
  • 1 egg – 17p (my mate with the chicken)
  • Dried oregano, Dried Parsley, Balsamic vinegar, Mixed herbs, oil for frying – (hard to work out a price but lets say 17p for arguments sake)

Instructions

Chop the mozzarella into little cubes, pop in a little bag and chuck them in the freezer for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 190c. Get a couple of baking trays and line them with foil. Smudge oil over it (or if you are proper posh and have spray oil, use that). It just stops them sticking.

Get a large bowl. Add the mince. Add the breadcrumbs. Add 3tbps of the passata. Add 1/4 of the onion (chopped finely). Add 1/2 tsp oregano & 1/2 tsp dried parsley. Add 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Add 2 of the garlic cloves (crushed).

Now to get your hands in and mix it all up…squeeze the ingredients through your fingers like when you make a dough (this is a great stress reliever when you’ve had a hard day)! Once your happy that it’s evenly distributed, roll the mix into 18 meatballs.

Wash your hands.

Retreive the mozzarella from the freezer.

Push a cube of the cheese into the centre of each ball. Wrap the meat together and roll them again in your palms to get them back to shape.

Line them all up on the baking trays. And in true blue peter fashion…here’s one I prepared earlier…

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Let’s make the sauce. Get a deep frying pan and fry the rest of your well chopped onion. Squeeze in a garlic clove and cook about 3 mins. Pour in the remaining passata and heat for another 2 mins. Add 1 tsp mixed herbs & 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. DONE. Just leave it slowly simmering on a low ring.

Get a large pan out and fill it with water ready for your pasta. Add oil and salt if you like it that way. Set it off on the boil.

Pop the 2 trays of meatballs in the oven for about 10-15 mins which should give your water enough time to boil.

Take your meatballs out and pop them in the sauce…covering each one. There will probably be some juice on the foil..pour that on too it adds great flavour! Cover the pan loosely with foil and put it back on a low ring to keep warm whilst the pasta cooks.

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Add your spaghetti to the pan of boiling water and cook according to pack instructions. Top tip – to avoid water boiling over, pop a wooden spoon across the pan..old wives trick but it works!

Drain pasta when it’s ready and top with meatballs and sauce. Serve.

Bellisimo!

So it cost a total of about £4.40 to make and served 4 of us with 2 meatballs left over! So a decent £1.10 per person including spaghetti. This could be cheaper if you opt for a cheaper mince but this is not an area I am willing to compromise on. I think it is worth the price.

I hope you enjoy and have a great Friday night!

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