Today I made meatballs in a rich tomato and basil sauce. I made the meatballs from minced beef, however they would be equally delicious using minced pork or minced lamb. Net carbs in recipe below 9 g per portion.
The meatballs are very quick to make but it is important to chill them before cooking to prevent them falling apart when you cook them, so allow time for this. They will freeze well so a good choice for preparing in advance.
I do not bother frying the meatballs, as they cook equally as well in the oven and as you are going to put them into the tomato sauce before serving you do not really need them browned; however if you want to serve them plain and therefore require a little colour, then I would suggest you still cook them in the oven first and then brown the outside for appearance purposes once cooked.
The tomato and basil sauce is a normal classic tomato sauce with basil herb added. When you chop the basil, do not over-chop as it is a delicate little herb and flavours will reduce if it is over worked. I use Pasatta as I prefer my sauce to be smooth, but you could also use tinned chopped tomatoes. Two tins would make a similar amount to the recipe below.
Today I served them with low carb spaghetti, however they are also delightful accompanied by courgette noodles. Find my recipe here.
Meatballs with Tomato and Basil Sauce
An easy meatball and sauce recipe for all the family.
- 400 gm Minced Beef
- 1 medium Onion - finely chopped
- 1 Egg
- 50 gm Hard cheese - finely grated
- 2 tsp Mixed herbs
- Salt and pepper
Tomato and Basil Sauce
- 1 Onion - chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic - chopped
- 3 tbsp Tomato puree
- 650 gm Pasatta - that’s approx a pint
- 2 tbsp Fresh basil - chopped
- Salt and Pepper to season
- 1 tsp Sweetener
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
Place all meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix them together thoroughly, making sure the egg and cheese are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Next you need to roll the mixture into balls, rolling between your palms. It will help if your hands are moist when rolling the meat to prevent sticking. I produced 12 meatballs from this recipe.
Put the meatballs on a tray and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Provided the meat has not been previously frozen, you could now freeze these for use at a later date.
When you are ready to cook your meatballs they will take about 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven, cooked at 180C or Gas 5.
Turn them over after 10 minutes.
Tomato and Basil Sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and sweat for 5 minutes without browning. Add the chopped garlic and sweat for a further 5 minutes.
Add the tomato puree to the onion and mix together, then pour over the pasatta and mix. Add half a pint of water and the sweetener. Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes.
Season sauce with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped basil and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust as required.
Meatballs should be served with spaghetti but this will not fit with our low carb life style so instead I have served mine with low carb Organic Edamame Spaghetti or you could serve with Courgette Noodles. Before serving, prepare your chosen accompaniment. You may just prefer to have something like a celeriac or butternut squash mash.
When meatballs are cooked, pop them into the sauce and cook for a couple of minutes.
Arrange the noodles on the plates, arrange the meatballs in the centre and then cover over with the rich tomato sauce.
Nutrients per portion (meatballs and sauce only)
Protein. 34 g
Net Carbs. 9 g
Fat. 19 g