May 31, 2007

Lasagna Sheets with Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

When making meatballs I use my homemade tamarillo chutney to season it together with salt, pepper and parsley. I don't like putting curry powder in the meat mixture when the meatballs are going to be eaten with pasta, unless I am making koftas or kebabs which are eaten with pilau or nasi goreng (fried rice).

I use tamarillo chutney as to give fruity flavour in meat and I think it suits well with tomato sauce. In Summer time, when we have abundance of fresh tomatoes, I used to make my own tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes a day before cooking the meatballs and I like to simmer the meatballs in the tomato sauce to mingle the flavour of the sauce and the meatballs. This time, I have to use the canned tomatoes in juice.

I like using small lasagna sheets and treating them as penne or spirals. They look elegant with frilled edges on each sheet, piling them in layers with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. However, feel free to use any pasta to your personal taste.

Lasagna Sheets with Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

350g lasagna sheets, cooked in salted water and drained, Parmesan cheese to sprinkle


300g beef mince, 1 small onion, finely chopped, 4 cloves garlic, 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped, 1 ½ Tbs tamarillo chutney, 2 Tbs breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, oil for frying

Mix all ingredients and roll into balls. The balls should be firm. If your balls feel a bit watery, add more mince and mix well. Heat the oil in the frying pan to shallow-fry the meatballs. Cook the meatballs until brown on all sides. Set aside.

Tomato Sauce

1 can tomato in juice, 1 small onion, finely chopped, 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, ½ cup fresh basil, chopped, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, and freshly cracked blackpepper, 1 Tbs oil, extra basil to garnish

Heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add in tomato in juice, breaking all the tomatoes with a fork into chunky size. Season well. Cook in a low heat until the sauce is thick, then add in chopped parsley and basil. Add in the cooked meatballs. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove and serve immediately with pasta and a good handful of mixed salad and crusty bread.

Don't forget to send your entry of any meat you cook at home for Cook and Eat Meat event to cookandeatmeat(at)gmail(dot)com by 16 June 2007 at the latest.


Deborah said...

These look beautiful. I have not made meatballs in so long - I might have to add this to my menu!

Chris said...

Yum! I just ate sauce I defrosted and was so excited to find meatballs I had forgotten I made with it. Yours looks wonderful.

Lis said...

I'd never think to use a fruit chutney to my meatballs, but now that I've read your post, they sound really, really good. Thanks for sharing. =)


Barbara said...

I'll make a meat entry this week Arfi. I've been away down south.

Arfi Binsted said...

Chris: My kids love sauce, any meals with sauce they'll be gone quickly. I'll send you what I've found in the freezer!

Lisa: To my taste, fruit chutney gives different flavour to meat. It's not totally like meat for kebabs which are spicy/spiced.

Barbara: Hey, welcome back, Barb. I should drop you a line about something. I should do it today. hugs.

Arfi Binsted said...

Deborah: Yes, I haven't cooked meatballs this way for so long. It's quite nice really to actually appreciate it after so long.