Baked Meatballs

The best baked meatballs! Juicy, melt in the mouth, cheesy and rich. The recipe from Delicious Magazine serves 6.

For the meatballs:
✔️250g beef mince
✔️250g pork mince
✔️100g pancetta finely chopped
✔️1 small onion, finely chopped 
✔️4 garlic cloves, crushed 
✔️60ml buttermilk
✔️50g fresh breadcrumbs 
✔️1 tbsp dried oregano 
✔️small handful of finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley 
✔️1 large egg, lightly beaten 
✔️45g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve 

For the tomato sauce:
✔️olive oil for frying 
✔️2 garlic cloves 
✔️700ml passata
✔️75ml dry red wine
✔️1 tsp dried oregano
✔️1 tsp chilli flakes 
✔️125g mozzarella ball, sliced 

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Season with salt and pepper and mix until well combined.

Form golf ball size meatballs by rolling the mixture in your hands, then transfer to large baking tray. Keep a small bowl of cold water to dip your hands in to prevent things from getting too sticky. Repeat with the remaining mixture, cover and leave in the fridge to firm up for 30-60 minutes.

Put the frying pan/casserole over medium – high heat and add a glug of olive oil. For the meatballs don’t fit in the pan, fry half the meatballs until browned on all sides (8–10 minutes), then transfer to a plate line with kitchen paper.

Heat the oven to 150°/130° fan. For the tomato sauce, drain any excess oil in a pan and put back on a low heat. Add the garlic and slowly simmer for a minute until just golden but not browned.

Pour in the passata and red wine and stir in. Add the dried oregano, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper. Bring to a steady simmer and allow to cook for 5–6 minutes before returning the meatballs to the pan and gently turning to coat them in the source. Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the oven. 

Cook for one hour and 30 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, turn oven to 220°/200° fan, dot the meatballs with the mozzarella and a little extra Parmesan, then return to the oven (adding a little water if the sauce is looking too thick). 

Serve the baked meatballs with spaghetti and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan.

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