I adapted this from Jamie Oliver’s master recipe on Ministry of Foods. It makes a tasty and moist meatball that kids love, and baking it makes it so easy! I like sneaking the carrots in there, too.
Servings: 4 - 6Prep Time: 1/2 hr Cook Time: 45 minutes
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 tsp dried ground rosemary (or 1/2 tsp fresh)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne or chipotle (none for kids, or more, if you like)
1 dash worcestershire sauce (optional – kids generally find this too strong a flavoring)
2 slices dry toasted bread OR 12 crackers, crushed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
9 x 12 baking pan
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Oil your baking pan with 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Mix all ingredients, EXCEPT sliced onion, thoroughly in a bowl, with very clean hands. Squish it up good!
Divide in quarters. Make 4 large or 6 small balls per quarter. Place evenly in baking pan. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil over top.
Distribute the sliced onion amongst those lovely meatballs. This keeps them separate and adds even more flavor. Also it makes the kitchen smell fantastic.
At this point, it’s good to cover and chill for a couple of hours if you want to make it ahead of time. But you don’t have to. I don’t usually.
Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, turning once halfway through.
Meanwhile, make your pasta and throw together a basic tomato sauce:
1 can tomatoes crushed or chopped
1 can tomato paste
Salt (maybe – there’s salt in canned tomatoes)
Chop the onion and garlic, saute them in olive oil over medium heat till transparent. Add tomatoes and paste, basil, pepper, taste for salt and adjust if needed. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and let it stew away till your meatballs and pasta are done.
My grandkids, however, don’t like tomato sauce, so I just do plain wholegrain pasta tossed with butter, sprinkled with grated cheddar cheese, and then the meatballs on top. MmmMmm.
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