For a relatively inexpensive but very satisfying and comforting meal, it would be hard to beat meatballs. The classic of course is a ‘Lady and the Tramp’ style bowl of Spaghetti & Meatballs, with a rich, tomatoey sauce – loved by children and adults (and animated dogs!) alike.
I base my meatballs on a recipe from Nigella
, often using turkey mince in place of the beef and pork, and occasionally with the addition of some finely chopped smoked bacon. I particularly like this recipe for two reasons: firstly, its suggestion of using semolina in place of breadcrumbs, as I never seem to have breadcrumbs around when needed; now I always have a pack of semolina in my larder on standby for when I make meatballs and it works brilliantly well. Secondly, is that you don’t have to fry off the meatballs before adding them to the sauce, not only does this save on a frying pan to wash up (not that I’m lazy of course…) but I actually think these are better for it – they just gently poach in the sauce and as a result seem lighter somehow. That’s not to say I never cook meatballs off first, as there are times when frying or baking meatballs before adding them to a sauce is definitely worth it, especially if you like that golden, burnished crust it gives them.
But meatballs don’t end here - there are so many variations, from the type of mince used, to the sauce (if you have one) and the accompaniments. How about Swedish meatballs
with a creamy gravy and mashed potato (for some, one of the highlights of a trip to Ikea!), or a Moroccan lamb meatball tagine
with couscous, or perhaps an Indian-spiced Lamb Kofta curry
with pilau rice? It seems the trickiest thing about meatballs is deciding which recipe to choose!