Unctuous Meatballs. That’s a satisfying word to say, “Unctuous”.

This is one of the recipes from My Meals Lists that was requested to be posted. I called it “Moroccan Meatballs” on the list, simply because it has a warmth and depth of flavour that fits with North African or Middle Eastern cuisine…as opposed to American or European-style meatballs.

I’ve been making this recipe for years, and the whole family love it. I have started making my Spaghetti Bolognese with the same herbs and spices, so you could just as easily use this recipe to make a bolognese or lasagne.

For the meatballs:
500g minced meat of your choice
1 clove garlic, crushed.
Half a level teaspoon of cumin
1 level tablespoon of chopped parsley (optional)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 oxo cube or 1 tsp chicken seasoning.
Half a level tsp dried Italian herbs or oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste.

For the sauce:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Good pinch grated nutmeg
1 tsp Italian herbs or oregano
Half a level tsp cumin
2 tins of chopped tomatoes or passata
1 level tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste.

I use two cartons/tins of tomatoes, because I like to make extra sauce to have leftover for pizza toppings. You could just use one tin, and cook for just one hour.

You can play around with the herbs and spices. You could add chilli for extra heat, or caraway seeds, tarragon, or fresh coriander. Don’t be scared to experiment!

How to:
This recipe uses no oil, so no sautéing is involved, meaning you could make it in a slow cooker.

~ Place all the sauce ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, while you prepare the meatballs.

~ Place the minced meat, garlic, onions, herbs and seasonings in a mixing bowl and mix well by hand until evenly combined.

~ Form into small meatballs (I got about 40 plus out of my mixture the other day), add to the sauce in the pan and stir carefully to cover in the sauce.

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~ Cover with a lid and simmer for between one and two hours, depending on how unctuous you like your sauce. I added ribbons of courgette to my mixture just before the end of the cooking time.

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Serve with spaghetti, OR you could add some Cous cous to the meatballs about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, along with some freshly chopped coriander, and maybe some lemon zest or golden sultanas.

As I said, I like to keep some sauce and meatballs back for making Wrapped Pizzas. Here’s how I make them:
Spread the sauce over some tortilla wraps, crumble the meatballs over, add some mozzarella and/or cheddar cheese (feta would be lovely, especially with lamb mince), along with any other topping of your choice. Cook in a moderate oven for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbling. Fold the wraps over into the centre from each side, and pop back in the oven for a couple of minutes. This makes is easier to pick up the pizzas, and is less messy to eat.

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