This week I have needed comfort food. A lot. What is more comforting than spicy meatballs in a tangy tomato sauce? Apart from burying my face in a bag of chips n gravy (northern delicacy much underrated by the south and therefore not available in London), not much. Chocolate? Hello cliché! I am not Bridget Jones. Wine? Well yes, but you can have wine with meatballs so it’s a double win. For me to find food really comforting (yes it is emotional) the actual process is as important as the meal- I like cooking and quick cooking just isn’t as good as making stuff from scratch with multiple ingredients. I do have limits though, if it takes 8 hours then it is a weekend only thing, probably a long weekend, more likely a two week holiday. Anyway, meatballs fit my needs perfectly this week. If that sentence sounds rude then welcome to my world- my 12 year old immature self is sniggering. A lot. Comforted already.
So, meatballs! The recipe is loosely based on a 5:2 fast day recipe. Google lo lo meatballs for the original. You should probably do that anyway, they use cavolo nero, the sexiest cabbage, whereas I dropped a bit of frozen spinach into the tomato sauce.
Meatball Recipe (about 4 portions depending on hunger and what you serve it with)
Pork mince 500g
1/2 red onion finely chopped
dried chilli flakes to taste
enough whisked egg to bind (I always find a whole egg too much)
bit of salt
Put all the ingredients in a bowl, get over how disgusting it feels, and combine by hand. This makes about 16 balls. Make balls and put under the grill. Wait about 10 minutes and then turn over.
400g tinned tomatoes
50g fresh tomatoes (I used cherry this time because it was what I had, but any kind will do)
Two tsps. of harissa paste (the food ingredient of the gods if they existed)
1 tsp oregano
As much fresh garlic as you can stand (minced)- I used about 7 but it is a kick
1/2 red onion finely chopped (conveniently using up the other half)
red wine (optional, the more you put in the sauce, the less there is to drink) Or you can add about 200ml of water.
spinach ( I threw in a few balls of frozen spinach, but fresh would be fine)
Saute onion and garlic. Add tinned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes, harissa paste and oregano. Splosh red wine as liberally as you like in the sauce or in a glass. Pour self glass of wine. Simmer the sauce. Sit on the sofa with wine and drink. Panic because you forgot meatballs. Turn meatballs over and stir sauce. Once meatballs are cooked add to sauce and stir. Serve by themselves, with rice, with pasta, with cauliflower rice, with wine. Eat, enjoy and don’t visit your vampire friends if you are as free handed with the garlic as I am.