Meatballs alla Norma

Meatballs alla Norma

Serves 4

  • 1 large aubergine

  • ½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 400 g minced beef

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • olive oil

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 200 g quick-cook polenta

  • 1 knob of unsalted butter

  • 30 g Parmesan cheese

Polenta in Italy is like mashed potato here in Britain. Done properly and laced with Parmesan, it works really well with this spicy, sweet, beautifully cooked, Sicilian-inspired aubergine Norma sauce and the crispy, tasty meatballs. This is fun to cook and wonderful stodgy comfort food – I hope it becomes part of your repertoire.



Dice the aubergine into 1cm cubes, then season well with salt and leave for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley (stalks and all), reserving a few leaves for garnish, and put into a bowl with the beef. Scrunch and mix together by hand, then divide into 20 equal pieces and roll into balls. Scatter the fennel seeds on a plate and roll the meatballs in them so they stick nicely, then pop into the fridge to firm up until needed.



Take handfuls of the aubergine and squeeze out the excess salty liquid, then put into a pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil to cook for 10 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Squash in the garlic through a garlic crusher, stir in the sweet chilli sauce and balsamic, then tip in the tomatoes and a splash of water. Simmer for around 10 minutes, or until thickened.



Meanwhile, brown the meatballs in a separate pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil for about 10 minutes, or until golden all over and cooked through. Cook the polenta according to packet instructions until you've got a good oozy consistency, adding the butter and a grating of Parmesan at the end. Season the sauce to perfection, then toss the meatballs through it and serve on top of the polenta, with the reserved parsley leaves scattered over and an extra grating of Parmesan, if you like.



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Nutritional Information

Meatballs alla Norma

Best-ever Italian meatballs

Oozy polenta served with spicy, sweet Sicilian-inspired Norma sauce and crispy, tasty meatballs. This is epic!
Serves 4
1h
Super easy
Method

Polenta in Italy is like mashed potato here in Britain. Done properly and laced with Parmesan, it works really well with this spicy, sweet, beautifully cooked, Sicilian-inspired aubergine Norma sauce and the crispy, tasty meatballs. This is fun to cook and wonderful stodgy comfort food – I hope it becomes part of your repertoire.

Dice the aubergine into 1cm cubes, then season well with salt and leave for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley (stalks and all), reserving a few leaves for garnish, and put into a bowl with the beef. Scrunch and mix together by hand, then divide into 20 equal pieces and roll into balls. Scatter the fennel seeds on a plate and roll the meatballs in them so they stick nicely, then pop into the fridge to firm up until needed.

Take handfuls of the aubergine and squeeze out the excess salty liquid, then put into a pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil to cook for 10 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Squash in the garlic through a garlic crusher, stir in the sweet chilli sauce and balsamic, then tip in the tomatoes and a splash of water. Simmer for around 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Meanwhile, brown the meatballs in a separate pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil for about 10 minutes, or until golden all over and cooked through. Cook the polenta according to packet instructions until you've got a good oozy consistency, adding the butter and a grating of Parmesan at the end. Season the sauce to perfection, then toss the meatballs through it and serve on top of the polenta, with the reserved parsley leaves scattered over and an extra grating of Parmesan, if you like.

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Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 559 28%
  • Carbs 49.9g 19%
  • Sugar 10.2g 11%
  • Fat 26.6g 38%
  • Saturates 11.7g 59%
  • Protein 28.3g 63%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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