Meatballs de Luxe

Serves 6 - 7
These meatballs are good enough to rival mama's. The added gelatine powder ensures moistness and tenderness, the mushrooms give flavour and bulk and the ready to use Pasta Sauce rounds it off beautifully.

You will need

2 ½ slices of white bread, crusts removed
½ cup (125 ml) boiling water2 x 25 g Ina Paarman’s Liquid Beef Stock
500 g lean beef mince or use a mixture of beef and pork
3 cloves garlic, sliced
⅓ cup (80 ml) chopped fresh herbs e.g. parsley, thyme and/or basil
2 t (10 ml) powdered gelatine
250 g portobellini mushrooms
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning
1 extra large egg
½ cup (125 ml) grated cheese
olive oil
½ x 400 g Ina Paarman’s Roast Mushroom OR Roast Pepper  Pasta Sauce
¼ cup (60 ml) water to rinse out pasta bottle

Ina's Tip

If you prefer to mince your own meat, buy a little extra chuck ± 600 g because all the fat and gristle must be cut away before chopping the meat in the processor. The recipe can be mixed in a food processor from start to finish. The order is as follows- Soak breadcrumbs, chop meat and progress as above.

Method

Soak the bread in a large mixing bowl in which you have measured the water and Beef Stock.
Process the mushrooms in a food processor until roughly cut up.
Add the mince, garlic and parsley to the processor. Sprinkle the gelatine over.
Process just until everything is blended but not finely minced.
Add Garlic Pepper Seasoning, egg, and cheese. Pulse until combined.
Mash the soaked bread with a fork.
Scrape meat mixture out of the processor into the bowl with the mashed bread.
Mix lightly with a fork.

Shaping and Baking Meatballs

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 180°C.
With your hands, shape the meat mixture into meatballs about 4 cm in diameter. Place them in one large  ovenproof dishe. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Can be made up to this stage and refrigerated or frozen.
Roast the meatballs open until they are nicely browned, ± 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and pour the Pasta Sauce over, add the ¼ cup of water to the jar and shake it to remove every bit of sauce, pour that over as well.
Bake for a final 20 minutes.
Serve with spaghetti OR Creamy Polenta.

Spaghetti

Boil 500 g spaghetti according to pack instructions. Drain, but reserve ½ cup (125 ml) of spaghetti water.
Return spaghetti to the saucepan.
Add 2 T (30 ml) olive oil, 1 T (15 ml) butter, ¼ cup (60 ml) of grated Italian-style cheese and the reserved pasta water.
Season to taste with our Pasta Spice.