I've had a real craving for cooking homely Italian/Australian type food of late. The more cheese and carbohydrates the better (and a bit of meat doesn't hurt either). This is the first of cheesey recipes that will grace the blog in the coming weeks so I hope you're not lactose intolerant!
500g minced lean beef
3tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1tbsp garlic (about 2 cloves), crushed (or finely chopped)
2tsp hot chilli paste
220g bambino bocconcini (small buffalo mozzarella)
400g can of chopped tomatoes
50g tomato paste
1/4 cup black kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 long red chilli, chopped
cooked pasta - enough for your serving requirements
quality olive oil
sea salt and cracked peper
In a mixing bowl, place minced beef, parsley, garlic, chilli paste and salt and pepper. The best method to mix these ingredients together is with your hands; feel free to wear gloves if touching raw meat freaks you out.
Take about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and flatten into a circle-like shape. Place one bambino bocconcini in the centre and wrap the meat around it. Continue to roll it into a round meatball shape. Repeat this process until you run out of mixture or cheese (see picture). Because this meatball recipe lacks breadcrumbs and eggs, placing these in the fridge for 2+ hours helps to hold them together whilst cooking.
Heat oil in a large frypan over a medium heat. Brown half your meatballs, remove from the pan, brown the other half before returning all of them to the pan. Pour over canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Add olives and chilli, salt and pepper and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Drizzle some olive oil over your cooked pasta before serving. Serve with several meat balls on a bed of pasta and a generous spooning of tomato sauce over the top. Garnish with some flat leaf parsley and salt and pepper to taste.