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Meatballs in tomato sauce

It’s a day for comfort food. After six months of no rain, high temperatures and devastating bushfires – we are now in flood – roads washed away and bridges down – kind of flood. In fact 649 mls in ten days kind of flood – which is more than the total rainfall for last year

The kind of day for hunkering down at home, in the dry, music on AND A PAN OF MEATBALLS BUBBLING ON THE STOVE. These are so easy to make and taste delicious. Just great with pasta and a simple green salad.

RECIPE

MEATBALLS (enough for 6)

  • 1kg pork and veal mince
  • 2 slices bread, crusts cut off and soaked in 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 handful of fresh marjoram, washed and leaves stripped off stems
  • 1 handful fresh chives, washed and chopped small
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper (more than you think!)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Squeeze any excess milk out of the bread and discard – the milk, not the bread.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together with your hands until combined thoroughly.
  3. Form into equally sized balls, making sure they are firmly held together by giving them a squeeze.

SAUCE

  • 1 brown onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves crushed, fresh garlic
  • 1 800g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small glass dry white wine
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper
  • Chilli flakes (optional)

METHOD

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based shallow pan and add the meatballs.
  2. Leave on a medium heat for a few minutes then carefully turn. Do not be tempted to turn the meatballs until the bottom of one side is cooked and set – otherwise they will fall apart. You may need a little spatula to turn them the first time – they shouldn’t stick after that. They will take about 15 minutes to cook. Remove from the pan and set aside reserving pan juices.
  3. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan and stir around for a couple of minutes until cooked.
  4. Add the large can of tomatoes, bay leaf, wine, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the meatballs and heat through for further 5 minutes. DONE – kali orexi

NOTE: MARJORAM – the cooks secret herb – its been mine for a long time, but I am reading about it more and more for being the favourite of others. DARINA ALLEN – the famous Irish chef who runs the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork says of MARJORAM that it is her ‘desert island’ ingredient – something she couldn’t do without. With a subtle nutmeg and aromatic flavour, you instantly bring Italy into the room when you start to cook with it. Its extremely versatile and great with all things Mediterranean and cheesy. The Scent of Love in Greek mythology. The beautiful goddess of Love, Aphrodite, was said to smell like “amarakon” – that is, like marjoram.

MARJORAM doesn’t like ‘wet feet’ so, along with many of my other herbs, I grow it in an old olive can – that way, I can move it under cover when we have rain like we had yesterday.

MARJORAM Origanum majorana

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