Approx. 25 x 60g
- 100g breadcrumbs (approx. 2 1/2 slices white toast bread)
- 150ml milk
- 50g pecorino, finely grated
- 50g parmesan, finely grated
- 500g good-quality beef mince
- 500g pork mince
- 3 tbsp tomato passata*
- 2 eggs
- 25g chopped parsley
- 2 large cloves garlic
- salt and pepper
- oil for sauté
- 125g butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 cups beef stock
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
These are superb with today’s traditional sauce or a summery tomato sauce; incredibly light and easy to make! Don’t stress if you can’t get pecorino cheese – just use 100g parmesan.
Also, they are a wet mix – but the results are stunning as they are so light. Use a food processor to grate the cheeses and invest in scales as 25g chopped parsley is a generous amount when you weigh it.
In Sweden they add a little nutmeg or allspice to the mix and some recipes even add a little coffee to the meat mixture – but we have opted for a plainer variation.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the bread (crusts on is fine) in a food processor and blitz. Do not clean the bowl.
In a large bowl, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and then combine with the cheeses. Add the meat, passata and eggs.
Blitz the parsley in the food processor bowl with the garlic and season. Add to meat mixture. Mix together with your hands – but with a light touch, do not over-work the mixture.
Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook meatballs for a few minutes until coloured. Remove meatballs from pan and place well-spaced apart on 2 baking trays (lamington trays are ideal, with sides to catch any juices). Bake for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
Use retained sauté pan to make traditional sauce (see below), or top with 2 cups of your favourite pasta sauce or 1 jar of commercial tomato pasta sauce.
*Passata is a tomato purée readily available in supermarkets.
If you prefer the option of a tomato sauce, go with 2 cups or 1 jar commercial pasta sauce.
Heat the butter gently in the sauté pan where the meatballs have been cooking. Add the flour and try to incorporate up all the bits from the pan. After it has cooked out for a few minutes, gently add the stock and stir well with a whisk as it thickens. Season to taste. Add fresh herbs (leave a little parsley for decoration).
Place meatballs from oven back in the sauté pan with the sauce and serve to your guests garnished with fresh parsley!
Wine match: te Pā Oke Sauvignon Blanc 2017