Meatballs with slow roasted veggie sauce
Picture this. A house on the beach. 8 of my colleagues – movement teachers extraordinaire and their kids. Lots of people in the kitchen every night. Lots of commotion, pots and pans.
I volunteered to cook one night, planned an easy meal, we went to get all the supplies and headed home.
Here’s what we did, in order of events after we unloaded the car.
First, we started walking up the stairs of the beach house loaded with groceries.
A bag of blackberries burst open. Hundreds of ripe juicy blackberries plunged, landed and splashed all over the stairs and floor.
Seeing the overwhelming magninute of the blackberry mess (omg, really? now?), I somehow gained enough composure and went to turn the oven to heat to 325. Then I returned to the stairs and proceeded to pick each blackberry up with caution making sure we we didn’t leave a permanent memory on the carpet and keeping the blackberries whole for salad.
Then we proceeded to make the meal, which fed 8 and 4 kids.
To save tons of time, we started with the slow roasted veggie sauce first. Then made the meatballs.
But enough about the blackberry apocalypse, here’s how to make your own amazing meatballs for 8 very hungry adults and 4 kids.
Start with slow roasted veggie sauce
2 large onions
5 cloves garlic
4 lbs heirloom tomatoes
4 red peppers
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for cooking
Take the heirloom tomatoes, cut in thin pieces, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven to cook (remember, it’s aready been preheated to 325 while we’ve been dealing with blackberry drama). Place the red peppers whole, on a cookie sheet, and let them roast in the oven as well. In the meantime, thinly slice two onions. Thinly coat a pan with olive oil over medium heat, toss the onions, add the cloves of garlic, whole, and sauté. As the onions start to caramelize, stir continuously until you have a nice soft and fragrant mixture of onions and garlic. Set aside.
While the veggies in the oven are cooking, make the meatballs mix.
1 lb of ground lamb
4 lb of ground lean beef
1 tbsp sea salt
½ tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Italian seasoning (use oregano, thyme, or any other green herb you like here)
Mix the meat and spices well and let them rest for a bit.
Check what’s happening in the oven. If the peppers have a nice roasted skin that is starting to char – take them out and place in a covered dish. Continue cooking the tomatoes for a good couple of hour and a half until they start to caramelize.
Then the magic begins. Make golf ball size meatballs and cook them over medium heat on the stove, draining any excess fat. Place all cooked meatballs in a pot and cover.
Peel the peppers, chop and place them in a blender together with the cooked onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes from the oven, keeping all the juices from the cooking process. Blend to an chunky sauce consistency, and taste. Here you can add more Italian seasoning, or just an herb of your preference, garlic olive oil or any other ingredient you like to spice up your sauce with to make it your own.
Once the sauce is ready, add it to the pot of meatballs. Mix well and cook together on low heat for 15 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, you can add some broth to thin it out.
To serve, scoop both meatballs and sauce and add parmesan and basil right before you offer it to your friends and family.
Wondering what we did with the blackberries? The ones that survived the plunge down the stairs made it to this roast beets, spinach and blackberry salad.