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Meatballs with tomato sauce

We have a children's book about a little girl who decides she's only going to eat bread and jam, for breakfat lunch and dinner. But when her mother serves the rest of the family meatballs with tomato sauce the little girl starts to cry. The mother remarks "everyone loves meat balls and tomato sauce". It's certainly true in my family where it's a favorite with everyone. Luckily, it's also dead easy to make. 
 

For the meatballs

2 tbsp olive oil
150g/5oz onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
900g/2lb freshly minced beef
2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs, such as marjoram, or 1 tbsp rosemary
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
110g/4oz onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
150g/5¼oz fresh mozzarella, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 x 400g/14oz cans tomatoes

Preparation method
1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over a gentle heat and add the onion and garlic. Cover and sweat for four minutes, until soft and a little golden. Allow to cool.
2. In a bowl, mix the minced beef with the cold sweated onion and garlic. Add the herbs and the beaten egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
3. Fry a tiny bit to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Divide the mixture into approximately 24 round balls. Cover the meatballs and refrigerate until required.
4. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan.
5. Add the sliced onion and the crushed garlic, toss until coated, cover, and sweat on a gentle heat until soft and pale golden.
6. Slice the canned tomatoes and add, with all the juice, to the onion mixture.
7. Season the contents with sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper.
8. Cook the tomatoes uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until the tomato softens (while this is cooking make the meatballs).
9. Heat a frying pan and cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes in about three tablespoons of olive oil.
10. When they are cooked, put them into an ovenproof dish with the tomato sauce and top with the grated mozzarella. Place under a preheated grill until the cheese has melted.
11. Serve with spaghetti.
 

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