Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Ruby's favourite. And one of my favourites to make.* Anything that's quick, easy and tasty gets a good run on the dinner rotation round here. There's just something about squishing wet mince between your fingers, no? I feel a little closer to Jamie and that's never a bad thing.

I don't remember what version I made before Jamie's 30 Minute Meals meatballs. Who cares. The 30MM version was tasty and we were happy. Then Jody posted her best ever spaghetti and meatballs and I had to test them out. Every one of Jody's recipes I have tried has been delicious, and these were no exception. The only things lacking for me were the zesty lemon tang and hint of mustard I was used to from Jamie's meatballs. So since then, I've been mashing the two together. It goes something like this.

Jamie + Jody's Meatball Mash Up

500g beef/pork mince
2 cloves garlic, bashed and chopped
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan
chopped parsley/basil
good heaped tablespoon of mustard (I use dijon)
zest of 1/2 - 1 lemon (add some juice too if you like more zing)
lug of olive oil
salt + pepper
dried chilli flakes, optional (of course you could use fresh, but I prefer to use dried for these because I can control the heat for the kids, whereas with fresh, sometimes they're hotter than you think!)

//Mix everything together in a bowl using your hands. Roll into small walnut sized balls. If you added the lemon juice as well, you may find it a bit too wet. If so, add some more breadcrumbs.

//Heat some oil in a heavy based pan over medium heat. Add your meatballs and brown, a couple of minutes each side.

//Add two tins of diced tomatoes into your pan plus about a third of a tin of water (I buy the tinned tomatoes with basil + garlic). Wait for your tomatoes to bubble and add your stock of choice - I use one of those Continental Stock Pots. Perhaps because I quite like Marco Pierre White. Maybe I have a thing for chefs.
//Knock your heat back to low-ish and add some more finely chopped parsley/basil, salt and pepper, dried chilli flakes if you like. Have a taste - if it's too tomatoey, add a teaspoon of raw sugar.
//Give everything a gentle mix, making sure your meatballs are covered by the sauce.

//Cover (I leave the lid slightly ajar) and allow to bubble while you cook some pasta or rice.
//About five minutes before they're ready, add a few shakes of balsamic vinegar - a trick I learned from watching one of Jamie's shows. I do this with my lasagne sauce too. If your sauce has thickened too much here, just add a bit of water to loosen it up.

//Serve with a generous pile of pasta or rice, cracked pepper and more parmesan. Watch gleefully as the kids inhale it.

*Perhaps a favourite because each time I make it, I am reminded of my nephew's arrival into the world, as this was what I was doing when I got the call that he arrived unexpectedly early - with no name - hence the Baby T scribble. Clearly I was having a very organised day if I was making meatballs at 11.15am!


  1. Yum! Will be adding these to next weeks meal plan. Thank you!

  2. PS is that an Aldi pan? I missed them first time around and am anxiously awaiting the next 'kitchen week' cycle.

  3. Yum! They look delish. I'm flicking through Jamies 30MM as we 'speak'!

  4. Oh my these sound even better, think I'll be making these changes to my recipe too! Now I feel like meatballs. x

  5. Am definitely going to give these a go, thanks Tahnee!! Our current fav meatball recipe is out of the Annabel Karmel Finger Food book, but I'm pretty sure the kiddies would love these ones too :)


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