It suddenly dawned on me that its almost the end of May and whilst I’ve been watching all these wonderful recipes pop up on CreditCrunchMunch (which I’m hosting this month), I’ve forgotten to put my own entry in! So, here it is – its not going to win any awards for creativity and its certainly not a gourmet creation but this meatball bake makes a change from spaghetti bolognese and lasagne. Jarred roasted red peppers are a staple in my cupboards, they are just so versatile! This dish is tasty, filling and doesn’t cost too much to pull together.
- 500g lean beef mince
- 300g pasta (I used penne but any shapes would work)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp dried herbs (I used parsley & rosemary but thyme, oregano or mixed herbs work well too)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 large roasted red peppers – jarred work a treat!
- Approx 70g dried breadcrumbs
- 1 beef stock cube or stock pot
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4
- Par boil the pasta so that its just undercooked, drain and leave to one side.
- Mix the egg, herbs, half the breadcrumbs and beef and form into meatballs. I made big ones but you can make up to 20 small or 10 large. Or, if you can’t count, 9 like I did on this occasion! Doh!
- Fry the meatballs for 10 mins or until almost cooked through and well browned. You should only turn them occasionally, too much handling and they will start to fall apart!
- For the last 2 mins, add the crushed garlic to the pan.
- Add the red pepper, tinned toms and sprinkle one beef stock cube (or use a stock pot). Using a small spoon, gently stir the mixture taking care not to break up the meatballs.
- Allow it to come up to the boil and then switch off.
- Mix in the pasta (again being gentle) and pour it all into an oven proof dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs ontop and bake for 20 mins. If you’re feeling indulgent, you can also add grated mature cheddar or sliced mozzarella!
I sprinkled with fresh parsley just before putting it into the oven. Also, you could cook this ahead and then freeze it for a busy night. Just defrost over night and slowly reheat on a low light in the oven until hot all the way through!