Spring time meatballs and couscous
This is a lighter Spring time version of 'spaghetti & meatballs.' The couscous adds a lightness to the dish and the meatballs in a rich tomato and mushroom sauce make it a fulling and satisfying meal on nights which are still a bit cool. More veges can be added to the sauce and couscous, like grated zucchini or blanched asparagus. Buy seasonal produce to keep this a cost effective meal to feed four.
|500 g||Prime beef mince|
|4||Button mushrooms, large|
|½||Brown onion, finely diced|
|4||Garlic cloves, finely diced|
|1 cup||Moroccan spice|
|1 tsp||Ground cumin|
|1 tsp||Smoked paprika|
|1||Salt & freshly ground pepper|
|⅓ dash||Frozen baby peas|
|1 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1 tin||Chopped tomatoes|
|1 Tbsp||Tomato paste|
- Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking dish with baking paper.
- Finely chop the brown onion and garlic. In a mixing bowl add your mince, half the garlic and onion, and the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well to evenly combine all spices. Using a teaspoon and your hands roll the mince into small meatballs, you will get around 16 from this mixture. Arrange on your prepared baking dish with a gap between each. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked through.
- In a frying pan, heat up a tablespoon of olive. While this is heating up, finely slice the mushrooms in preparation for the sauce. Add the remaining onion and garlic to the frying pan and cook until the onion becomes see through.
- Boil a jug of water in preparation for soaking the peas and making the couscous. Once the jug has boiled, covered the frozen peas in hot water and leave.
- Add mushrooms, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste to the frying pan and mix together with the garlic and onion. Turn down the heat and let it simmer and thicken, stirring occasionally.
- Make the couscous by adding equal amounts of couscous and boiled water into a pot or glass dish. Add the Moroccan spice (or cajun for extra spice) and leave on the bench covered in a tea towel for 15 minutes.
- Once the meatballs have cooked, leave them to sit out of the oven for 5 minutes before adding to your thickened rich tomato and mushroom sauce.
- Once the water has evaporated from the couscous and it has expanded. Fluff the couscous with a fork and mix through the drained baby peas and any other vegetables you have prepared.
- Serve the meatballs in the rich sauce on a bed of couscous and veges. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy with a freshly baked garlic bread and some basil leaves if available.