There’s something American about meatballs which appeals to children. They never seen to pick though the ingredients as they may do with other meals, giving you a great opportunity to sneak in some goodness.
These are tasty, studded with sweet hits of fruit, then baked for speed and flavour. Add into a simple vegetable sauce and they’re wolfed down as a favourite post swim/match meal.
Feel free to double the quantities for the freezer.
Beef, Apricot and Herb Meatballs (Serves 4)
400g low fat beef mince
2 x banana shallots, finely diced
1 x clove of garlic, minced or finely chopped
100g finely chopped apricots or dates
handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, stalks and all
1 chopped onion
1 x clove garlic, chopped
1 x tbsp umami paste
1 x cup hot beef stock
1 x tin chopped tomatoes
Seasoning – sea salt and freshly ground pepper
400g of Pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine
Preheat the oven to 220/200 (fan)/Gas 7
Mix all of the meatball ingredients together and shape into 12/14 balls and arrange on a greased baking tray.
Pop them into the hot oven for approx 15 minutes and cooked through, showing some colour.
Meanwhile, sweat off the onion and garlic in a large frying pan and when transparent, throw in the remaining sauce ingredients, season well with salt and freshly ground pepper, stir and simmer gently for 10/15 minutes.
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente – follow the pack for instructions and go for the lower end of the minutes they suggest for cooking.
When the meatballs are cooked through, add to the tomato sauce and plate into warmed bowls, ready for some fresh parmesan and appreciative noises from the table.