“This recipe I developed for ASK Italian is a favourite of mine and perfect for this time of year. It has that restaurant quality but can be adapted so that it’s simple enough to make at home. Baked Meatballs Giganti is full of hearty classic Italian flavours and is ideal for sharing with family and friends around the table." (Theo Randall)
If you’re looking for a cosy mid-week recipe to warm up your evening or a classic Italian dish to dress up for a dinner party, we’re here to help with our expert friend and renowned chef, Theo Randall!
In the restaurants we like to top our Baked Meatballs Giganti with torn buffalo mozzarella and serve it with a generous side of Rosemary & Sea Salt bread ready to mop up that rich, spicy tomato sauce.
Pop into your local ASK Italian and treat yourself or get cooking and let us know how you get on!
•Serves 2 / prep: 30 minutes / Cook: 20 -25 minutes
•Preheat the oven 180 °C/ 350°F/ gas mark 4
For the meatballs:
•250g of lean minced beef
•250g of lean minced pork
•50g white breadcrumbs
•1 garlic clove peeled and finely chopped
•1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
•1 large egg (lightly beaten)
•½ teaspoon ground fennel
•½ teaspoon fennel seeds
•Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to season
For the Sauce:
•2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
•1 small onion finely chopped
•350g Tomato Passata
•Pinch crushed dried chilli
•6 basil leaves finely chopped
•Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to season
•6 thin slices (1cm) Ciabatta bread or baguette
•OR green side salad
•Fancy a vino? Go for a bold Italian red – we like Primitivo or Chianti
•100g Buffalo mozzarella, torn into small pieces
•2 basil leaves finely chopped
1. To make the meatballs, add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together with your hands so everything is combined. Form loosely into 50g meatballs.
2. To make the spicy tomato sauce, heat one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently until lightly golden. Add the passata and gently bring it to the boil. Then add the crushed chilli and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. In a large frying pan heat one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and start to gently seal off the meatballs so they have a little colour on the outside but are still rare in the middle.
4. When you have sealed off the meatballs and they are out of the pan, add the slices of bread to the same pan to soak up the meatball juices and to lightly crisp up on both sides.
5. Now to create your mid-week masterpiece or supper party staple – lay the bread slices at the bottom of an ovenproof dish and add the meatballs on top. Spoon the sauce over the meatballs and bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C / 350 °F / gas mark 4 for 20 to 25 minutes. Once out of the oven, evenly add the torn buffalo mozzarella and chopped basil on top.
6. Serve with a crisp green salad or with baked bread as we do at ASK Italian. Buon Appetito!