Mozzarella Meatballs with tomato and bacon

A good old family favourite just got even tastier! These mozzarella filled meatballs, made with Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured lean minced beef and cooked in a rich tomato sauce, are just oozing with Italian flavour.

Preparation

25 minutes

Cooking

1 hour

Serves

4

Oven Temp

170°C / Gas Mark 3

Ingredients

750g (1 ½ lb) Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured lean minced beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small pinch dried chilli flakes
60g (2oz) freshly grated parmesan
30g (1oz) tomato puree
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
120g (4oz) Mozzarella, cut into twelve 10g pieces

For the sauce:
1 onion or 2 shallots finely chopped
100g (4 oz.) smoked streaky bacon, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml vegetable stock
20g (¾ oz.) fresh basil leaves, chopped. (½ a small basil pot)
30g (1 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan

Method
  1. Thoroughly mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a bowl. Using clean hands roll about 12 x 60g (2 oz.) mince balls and place them into a large earthenware dish. Clingfilm and refrigerate until the sauce is ready.
  2. For the sauce fry the onion and bacon over a medium heat until the onion is soft and the bacon is golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then the chopped tomatoes. Finally stir in the basil and remove from the heat.
  3. Pour over the meatballs and sprinkle the grated parmesan on top. Cover with tin foil and bake in the hot oven for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. To serve:Serve with freshly cooked spaghetti.

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