Thursday, 20 November 2014

Family Dinners - Meatballs & Pasta in a Tomato Sauce {gluten free & dairy free}

I'm revisiting an old Recipe of the Week tonight for one of my Family Dinners posts.

It's still as popular with the boys as it was 4 years ago when I first posted this!


The boys in this house would have something made with mince for dinner almost every night of the week if they could! I would say this is one of their favourite ways to have mince, but then they love it equally as much just with tatties, as a bolognese, as chilli, as meatloaf, lasagna................

Because wheat-free bread is so expensive, I like to make sure I use up every last bit. When the heels are all that is left, I blitz them in the blender to make breadcrumbs and then freeze them. You can just keep adding to the bag in the freezer each time you make a wee bit more. Then just add them to whatever recipe you need them in. No need to defrost.

The picture isn't the clearest, but you get the idea. I took it in such a rush as the hungry hordes were desperate to be fed!

To serve 6

For the meatballs:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2lb mince
2oz wheat-free breadcrumbs (about 2 slices of a wheat free loaf)
1 egg
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp dried mixed herbs

For the sauce:
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1-2 tbsp sugar, to taste
 generous handful fresh basil

~Preheat your oven to about 180C
~Put all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and get mixing together with your hands.
~Once everything is well mixed together, start rolling into meatballs and place on a plate.
~Heat a little oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the meatballs in batches until they are browned all over. I use a lid on the frying pan to help speed this up and stop the meatballs drying up.
~When one batch is browned, transfer them to a large ovenproof dish and put in the oven to keep warm while you get on with the next batch.
~Once all the meatballs are browned, keep them in the oven and add a little more oil to your frying pan.
~Add the second onion and garlic and soften.
~Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and a handful of chopped fresh basil.
~Bring to the boil.
~Puree the sauce with a hand blender if you want a smooth sauce. This step is optional but my boys prefer the sauce smooth!
~Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cook it all in the oven for another 15- 20 minutes or so, depending on how fast your oven is.
~Serve with wheat-free pasta and an extra sprinkling of fresh basil for decoration. Those who can eat cheese also like some grated over the top of this on their plates. 

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