Meatballs conjure visions of happy and informal shared dinners with laughter and talking. Little spheres of shared joy in a slightly spicy tomato sauce with milky hot mozzarella.
Preheat the oven to 190c. Gently fry the meatballs, without any added oil, in an ovenproof pan or casserole. Once they’re nicely brown, remove them to a bowl while you make the sauce.
Gently fry the garlic, chilli and onion and cook until the onion is soft. Add wine then tip in the passata and add the sugar, tomato purée, salt, herbs and black pepper. Simmer for a few minutes.
Add the meatballs back into the pan and coat them with sauce, then scatter the mozzarella on and another sprinkle of dried herbs. Place in the oven for ten minutes until the mozzarella is melting and oozy.
Beef is a good source of vitamin B12, which is key for red blood cell production (tuna, salmon and sardines are actually many times higher in B12 though!). It’s also rich in vitamin B3, which helps to convert food into energy, incidentally mushrooms are also high in B3 and included in this recipe. Adding some vegetables raises the fibre and nutrient profile.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which is a pokey antioxidant. Antioxidants are like bouncers at a night club, they go around finding stray electrons that are busy causing trouble in your body, and find them a love partner so they can both stay in and cuddle on the sofa.
Tomatoes are also a brilliant source of vitamin C, which supports skin and connective tissue health as well as immunity and iron absorption. The biotin in tomatoes is good for controlling blood sugar.
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“A tavola non si invecchia.”
Translation: At the table with good friends and family you do not become old.
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