You need a good classic meatball recipe in your life. Good meatballs belong in your freezer. I love having a stock of meatballs frozen and ready for me. It gives me a sense of security knowing anytime I want a good plate of spaghetti and meatballs (Of all the pasta dishes I love, spaghetti and meatballs may take top mantle) all the hard work has been done already.
Meatballs are largely a dash of this and pinch of that affair. What goes in them depends on what we have at home ready to be used up. However, I went to the liberty of actually writing down the recipe of these really good Italian style meatballs because they came out so well and are perfect as the starring role in your pasta dish. You can throw these in soup, in a simple stew, but definitely try them with a classic spaghetti first. It’s a match made in heaven!
Minced meat, of course, fresh herbs (parsley to give them this bright flavor), and dried herbs. We get low fat beef mince and are happy with that. An egg and breadcrumbs for binding and for a softer texture, and Parmesan cheese for that Italian flavor. If you don’t have kids that can detect one iota of spice like mine, then definitely add some red chili flakes in this.
The secret ingredient:
My husband adds a secret ingredient that’s SO GOOD. He finely chops some onion and garlic, and saute’s them till soft and golden. You’ve probably had meatballs with raw onion in them, but I bet you haven’t had them with cooked onion. Complete gamechanger.
Make these, snack on a few as a reward for you hard effort, and refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. I’ll post a simple spaghetti recipe soon in which these would be perfect for!
- 1 kg ground beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup dried parmesan
- 1/4 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 heaped tsp italian seasoning (or a mix of dried basil, dried oregano and dried parsley)
- 1 pinch red chili flakes
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the finely diced onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, When it starts to soften, add the garlic and continue to cook until golden brown and soft. Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 220 C (425 F). Line baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, place all the ingredients (including the sauteed onion/garlic mixture). Knead with your hands (great time to use rubber gloves) until thoroughly combined. Roll into meatball sized balls and place each ball on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, stirring the meatballs around halfway through. You’ll bake until you cut into one and you see it’s cooked throgh and the outside is golden brown.
- Use immediately, or store for 3-4 days in the fridge or 3-4 months in the freezer. To freeze, first freeze them on a baking tray until they are frozen then place them in a freezer bag to avoid sticking.