Mini Meatballs In A Herby Tomato Sauce
For the meatballs:
250g lean minced pork, lamb or beef
Half a small onion
2 tsp fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme
30g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp good-quality vegetable oil
For the tomato sauce:
250g fresh tomatoes (or 50ml passata)
150ml water or vegetable stock (ideally homemade with no added salt, or a low salt alternative)
Half small onion
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp fresh herbs such as basil, parsley or thyme
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350F / Gas mark 4. For the meatballs, finely chop the onion, mushrooms, fresh herbs (you can prep the onion and herbs for the sauce now as well).
Place all of the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Use your hands to divide and shape the mixture into 25 balls. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the sauce.
For the sauce, finely chop the onion and herbs (if you haven't already) and skin, seed and chop the tomatoes. Put all of the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then liquidise.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the meatballs, turning them frequently, until they are lightly browned all over for about 5-10 minutes.
Put the meatballs in an oven proof dish. Pour the sauce over the meatballs, cover with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.