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Meatballs with Hidden Veggies in Tomato Ragu

Meatballs with Hidden Veggies in Tomato Ragu
Preparation time:
15 minutes
Cooking time:
20 minutes

This recipe is a great way to hoover up any leftover vegetables in your fridge, plus it's perfect for sneaking a few more vegetables into your (and the kids) diet. If you’re making this from scratch, we’ve included the vegetables Theo uses, but feel free to swap for whatever you have available.

  • Ingredients

    For the meatballs:
    • 250g vegetables (such as; carrot, broccoli, red pepper, sweet
    • potato, onion, etc.)
    • 250g lamb mince
    • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup flour
    For the sauce:
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 400g passata
    • 2 tbsp tomato puree
    • 30 ml olive oil
    • Pinch sugar and salt
    • Black pepper
    • 1 tbsp dried oregano
    To serve:
    • Rustic bread 
    • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Method

    • Start with the sauce; fry the onion for a few minutes in a little olive oil until softened, then stir in the garlic and after 30 seconds, add the passata, oregano, black pepper, tomato puree, a pinch of sugar and about 200ml water.

    • Simmer on a medium/high heat until the sauce is reduced by a third and is rich and glossy.

    • While the sauce is simmering, make the meatballs. Roughly chop the vegetables to fit inside the food processor and pulse them to a coarse consistency.

    • Decant the vegetable mixture into a sieve over a bowl and squeeze out as much moisture from the vegetables as possible (pour the juice into the tomato sauce). Return the vegetables back to the food processor along with the mince meat, a tablespoon of flour, paprika, ground cumin and egg along with some salt and pepper and pulse a few times till incorporated, then stop (don’t over mix it).

    • Remove the mixture from the machine, and roll it into ping-pong-sized balls dust in the flour.

    • Heat a frying pan with a splash of oil and fry the meatballs on high heat for a few minutes on each side to give them a deep brown colour. Once done, place the meatballs into the tomato sauce to finish cooking (about five minutes).

    • Remove from the heat and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve on rice or with chunky bread, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley.

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