• Prep time: 20 minutes
• Cook time: 50 minutes
• Yield: Serves 6
• 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
• 500g minced beef
• Pinch of grated nutmeg
• 30g finely grated pecorino
• 30g finely grated parmesan
• 2 tsps finely chopped thyme
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• ½ Spanish onion, finely diced
• 30gm fresh white breadcrumbs
• 2 tbsps finely chopped oregano
• 2 tsps rosemary, finely chopped
• 2 tbsps flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• 2 thyme sprigs
• 6 mini sub rolls
• 2 cups passata
• 1 Spanish onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 2 X 400g cans cherry tomatoes
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
• Baby rocket, basil and extra parmesan, to serve
- For meatballs, heat 1½ tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat then cook onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until tender. Cool completely, then mix in a bowl with the mince, parmesan, pecorino, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, rosemary and nutmeg to combine well (use your hands, they’re the best tool for this!), season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roll into walnut-sized balls, place on a tray, cover and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a casserole, add onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add cherry tomatoes, passata and herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, simmer for about 20 minutes until beginning to thicken.
- Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and brown meatballs all over. Add to sauce and bake, turning meatballs occasionally in sauce, until just cooked through (15-20 minutes).
- To serve, split rolls lengthways and stuff with meatballs, then spoon over a little sauce. Scatter with grated parmesan, some rocket and a couple of basil leaves and serve with plenty of paper napkins!
• Clean hands are the best tool when mixing and rolling meatballs, and make sure you roll them as smoothly as you can.
• These meatballs are a great freezer standby, so make a double batch and have them handy. Thaw in the fridge, then warm up in a pan, making sure they come to the boil. Serve tossed through al dente spaghetti with plenty of parmesan.
• Take a shortcut with these meatballs and use good-quality beef sausages instead. Many sausages have great flavours mixed through them already, so you won’t need the onion and garlic, although the fresh herbs and parmesan are still a great addition. Simply remove the skins, mix through the herbs and form into balls.
This great family recipe is thanks to Australian Beef Recipes at https://www.australianbeef.com.au/recipes/meatball-subs/#