This doesn't sound like a weight watcher friendly meal, and it doesn't taste like one either. This is absolutely indulgent and delicious (if I do say so myself, and unbelievably filling. For anyone that likes italian give this ago. The recipe serves 4, and you can easily freeze half of these before cooking, or use half the mixture to make burgers for another night (this is what I did, 2 different meals in the same week done easily - all you need is to add points for the bun/pasta/sauce). Anyway this is not too difficult but it is a little time consuming. I made it mid week but we ended up eating quite late because of it, so just keep that in mind if you give it a go.
Serves - 4
Propoints per serving - 4pp (3pp if no mozzarella is used)
Filling & Healthy - 1pp
500g extra lean mince (less than 5% fat)
4 cloves garlic
0.5tbsp tomato puree or tomato ketchup
A good splash of worcester sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
0.5 tbsp paprika
salt and pepper
80g - 100g light mozzarella drained and chopped into small pieces
Using a food processer , mince the onions and the garlic until you end up with a puree. You can add a few drops of water if your find the mixture sticking a little.
Add this to the mince with the tomato puree, paprika, oregano and worcester sauce and mix well with your hands. Season well.
At this point you want to add some egg white to bind this but you don't want to make the mixture too wet. Add a little at a time and the mixture will hold its shape well but is not sticky.
The mixture should make 16 meatballs. Taking 1/12th of the mixture, flatten it into a disc in your hand and place a small piece of mozzarella in the centre. Close the meatball around the cheese and roll in your hands until a smooth ball is formed. You want to make sure there are no cracks left in the ball and you have not put too much cheese in otherwise they will burst when cooking. Repeat with the rest of the meat. Leave these to sit in the fridge for 10/15 minutes while you make your sauce (recipe for the sauce below).
|Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan. Heat a good non stick pan over a medium high heat and mist with spray oil. Brown the meatballs all over, be careful not too move them around too much as you run the risk of breaking them up but you want to ensure that all sides are browned. This should take about 5 minutes. I usually do this in batches as it is easier to control this way.|
Place the meatballs in an overproof dish and cover with your sauce. Place in the preheated oven for 18 minutes. At this point they should be cooked through but you may want to double check by cutting into one before serving.
While they are in the over you can cook whatever accompaniment you choose to go with these, I used 50g (dry weight) spaghetti per person for an extra 5pp. Serve 4 meatballs per person with 1/4 of the sauce on top of the pasta and enjoy. You can top with 5g grated parmesan for an extra propoint but as there is cheese in the meatball its not necessary.
Roasted Pepper Sauce
Propoints per serving: 0
2 peppers (red and yellow work best)
3 cloves garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sweetener
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to the highest temp and place the peppers on an oven tray. Roast until the skin is blackened turning occasionally to ensure even cooking. When these are done place in a ziploc bag and leave to cool. The skin should then come off easily. Peel and deseed and blend to a smooth puree in a food processer. Leave to one side.
I like all of my sauces smooth rather than chunky, but to go with the meatballs this is especially important. I find it easier to do this before cooking and as with the meatball recipe I mince my onions and garlic before cooking. You can however choose to just chop these and use a stick blender to puree the sauce after. The rest of the method does not change though.
Mist a non stick saucepan with spray oil and heat over a low heat. Add the minced onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly. If they start to stick add a little water. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and the roasted pepper puree and still well. Add the oregano, sweetener and season well to taste. Leave simmering over a low heat for 10 minutes and ready to use.
This sauce goes really well just with pasta/rice/couscous for a vegetarian dinner. Can be poured over chicken breasts or pork chops before baking and served with a baked potato. Its really versatile, easy and yummy!