Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Brydie Thompson

This is a huge recipe, making about 40 meatballs, but believe me, it’s worth it! You can freeze half for that “thank goodness” moment when you want a great homemade meal but just can’t be bothered. Alternatively, half the recipe.

Take everyday meatballs up a notch by adding in some bocconcini (baby mozzarella) 10 minutes into the baking time.

2 onions
2‒3 cloves of garlic
3 tsp dried oregano
1 carrot
1 zucchini
1kg beef mince
1 cup fresh or Panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp capers
4‒5 black olives, pitted
glug of red wine or 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2½ cups passata*
400g tin cherry tomatoes*
1 cup beef stock (or water)
1 tsp brown sugar

Sauté the onion, garlic and 2 tsp oregano in a dash of oil until the onions are soft, but not browned.
Place half the onion mix into a large bowl.

Add to the remaining onion in the pan finely chopped capers and olives and cook for a further two minutes before adding the glug of wine or balsamic vinegar. Cook until the wine/vinegar has evaporated then add the tomatoes (passata and cherry tomatoes), stock (or water) and sugar. Simmer on low while you make the meatballs.

Add to the onions in the bowl the remaining oregano, grated carrot and zucchini, mince, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Using your hands, mix well.

Tip – I take a small amount and cook this off to test seasoning. This means you can adjust the seasoning before you roll all the mix into meatballs.

Roll the mix into meatballs, and in a large pan brown them in two or three batches. Place the browned meatballs into an oven proof dish, pouring over the tomato sauce and bake in a 180°C oven for approx. 20 minutes.

Serve with a mountain of freshly cooked spaghetti.

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