There comes a time when you just get tired of the classic food, and want to try something else. In our kitchen, meatballs in tomato sauce and spaghetti are often on the table. But really we’ve just got fed up with it, and I said I have to try something new. And this is how this dish is created. Baked meatballs in a tasty tomato sauce with carrots, celery and a little red wine (not the traditional marinara sauce) and melted cheese. MMMH!
Baked Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
For the Sauce:
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 large celery stalk chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/3 cup 80 ml; 2.7 fl oz red wine
- 2 cans 800 g; 29 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
For the Meatballs:
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 17 oz 500 g minced meat (beef or mix of beef and pork)
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup 50 g; 1.8 oz grated cheese
For the Sauce:
- In a medium sauce pan heat 2 tbsp oil, add chopped onion and saute until translucent about 7 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another 1 minute. Add chopped carrot and celery stalk, season with salt and pepper. Dilute tomato paste in wine and pour into the pan. Cook for for few minutes and add diced tomatoes. Add sugar and cook on low heat for 30 - 40 minutes, stir occasionally (add a little bit of water if sauce become to thick to early).
- In a medium pan heat 1 tbsp oil, add chopped red onion and saute until translucent. Let it cool.
- In a large bowl, mix minced meat, half of parsley leaves, half of basil leaves, cooked onions, egg and bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper and form into 15 small balls.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200 °C).
- In a skillet, heat remaining oil, add meatballs, and fry them on every side, for about 7 minutes.
- In a baking pan, pour tomato sauce, add meatballs and press them into tomato sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining parsley and basil leaves and serve warm with pasta or potatoes.