Did you know that the classic pairing of spaghetti and meatballs ain’t so classic? Based on what I’ve read, traditionally, in Italy, meatballs, or ‘polpettes’ are simply eaten with sauce, cheese and a mixed salad dressed with olive oil. The pairing of spaghetti and meatballs came to be in America in the 1920s as spaghetti was one of the only Italian pasta available at the time. I was as shocked as you are, and once you pick your jaw up off the ground, I will share my Healthy Italian Giant Meatballs recipe with you.
The prep time for these Healthy Italian Giant Meatballs recipe is around 15 minutes, and they bake (a healthy alternative to frying) for 30 mins in the oven. This recipe yields 9 if you make big-sized meatballs. Save time in the following days by storing some of the meatballs, uncooked, in the fridge in an airtight container.
Healthy Italian Giant Meatballs
Healthy Italian Giant Meatballs Ingredients:
- 750 grams ground beef (minced beef) - lean
- ¾ large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 60 grams dried breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese - grated
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 5 sprigs parsley - fresh
- 1 medium egg
Healthy Italian and Basil Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 tin tomato - chopped, drained
- 200 grams passata or crushed tomatoes (tomato puree with seeds removed)
- 5 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 3 sprigs basil - fresh, finely chopped
- ½ small carrots - finely chopped
- ½ medium white onion - chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil - around 55 grams
- ½ cup water
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on low heat and saute chopped garlic and onions.
- Once onions are translucent, add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and about half a cup of water. Stir well.
- Add chopped carrots, basil, salt, pepper. Leave on low heat and stir continuously for about 20 minutes or so. If you have the time, I recommend leaving it to simmer for 45 minutes before eating.
- To make the meatballs, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix minced meat, egg and breadcrumbs.
- Add in the chopped onion, garlic, parsley and the grated parmesan cheese. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Using your hands, roll the meat mixture into evenly sized meatballs.
- Transfer the balls onto the baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Dress with the sauce and enjoy.