Meatballs in spicy tomato sauce with courgette ‘spaghetti’
These rosemary beef meatballs are very satisfying with a kick and can be eaten as a main meal with salad or courgette, but also as ‘tapas’. If you don’t like it too spicy you can half the amount of chilli, or even leave it out for a non-spicy sauce. If you like it garlicky and have no social arrangements for the rest of the day you can add another garlic clove. I don’t use breadcrumbs in the meatballs as it is not necessary and I prefer not to eat wheat. Meatballs are traditional eaten with spaghetti but I have it with courgette ‘spaghetti’ instead. To make this you’ll need a vegetable spiral slicer which can be bought from most cook shops and home stores. I use this slicer a lot to make vegetable ‘pasta’ or interesting salads. Of course you can also just slice or finely cut the courgette if you don’t have a spiral slicer.
500 g good quality beef mince (preferably grass-fed beef from local butcher)
2 tsp English mustard
1/2 tsp salt plus salt for seasoning of sauce
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tins of plum tomatoes
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 small dried red chillies (or 1 tsp chilli flakes)
Leaves of 1 small bunch of fresh basil, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 190 Celsius (375 F).
Mix the mince, egg, mustard, salt and rosemary in a bowl. Best to use your hands for this. When well mixed, roll meatballs in the size of golf balls and place them on an oven tray. Bake the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes.
For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic and chilli flakes on a low-medium heat until the garlic has turned golden. Add the basil and stir for a minute. Now add the plum tomatoes and when the liquid comes to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, breaking up the plum tomatoes as they cook.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
For the courgette spaghetti spiral-slice one courgette per person and heat in the microwave for one and a half minutes or steam for a few minutes. It should still have some bite.
Serve the meatballs with sauce on top of the courgette.