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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Recipe: Lo-lo meatballs with cavolo nero (from the Times)

I had to share this recipe, because I tried it last night and my husband liked it so much he literally licked out his bowl. As I have mentioned we're both doing the 5:2 diet and this is a fabulous meal for a fasting day - tasty, filling and yet only 264 cal per person.

First thing I have to say, I have no idea what Cavolo Nero actually is, in the picture with the recipe it seems to be some form of cabbage, I used some steamed green veg instead, which were 25 cal per serving. The recipe comes from the Eat! pullout from the Times this weekend.

Lo-Lo Meatballs with Cavolo Nero
Serves 2
264 cal per person
Picture from the Times website

Ingredients

For the meatballs
  • 200g lean pork mince or turkey mince (I used turkey mince)
  • half a med red onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed) (I used a little bit of pre-minced garlic for speed)
  • 1 small carrot (grated)
  • pinch of oregano
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for spraying (you can make up your own spray bottle of oil, or buy one of the spray cans)
For the tomato sauce
  • oil for spraying
  • half a med red onion (chopped)
  • half a garlic clove (peeled and chopped) (I used minced again)
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 50g fresh tomatoes (skinned, de-seeded and chopped) (I left these out because I was going for a puree rather than a chunky sauce)
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • pinch of sugar
  • 200ml water
  • chili flakes or powder to taste
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
For the cavolo nero
  • 200g cavolo nero (steamed)
  • squeeze of lemon
  • sea salt

Instructions
  1. Put the mince, onion, garlic, carrot, oregano, salt, pepper and egg in a bowl and mix. 
  2. Form into 12 small meatballs. The mixture was very wet, but held together very well.
  3. Spray a large pan with oil and fry the meatballs until lightly browned (approx 4 mins).
  4. Put meatballs aside.
  5. Spray the same pan again and add the onion for the sauce, sweat it down until it is softened. Boy is it hard to sweat onions without a decent amount of oil - keep the heat really, really low.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 mins.
  7. Add the tomatoes, the tom purée, sugar, water, chili flakes and Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  8. Simmer for a few minutes until reduced somewhat and glossy.
  9. At this point I grabbed the hand blender and turned the sauce into a purée because I don't like chunky tomatoes and onion in my sauces, but that's not in the original recipe.
  10. Add the meatballs, cover and simmer for 20 mins.
  11. Serve with the steamed cavolo nero, adding a twist of lemon and sea salt to the cavolo nero (if you have any clue what it is :)). I had steamed brocoli, peas and green beans instead.

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