rummaging around in the freezer this arvo, looking for inspiration and finding none, I stumbled across the last of the baked meatballs my Kind Auntie Nettie gave us a while ago.
I'm not a big fan of meatballs and/or hamburgers. mince has to be browned on all sides and then some, or I think it's kinda grey and anaemic and ickily textured. when I make spag bol, that mince is pounded and slapped about in the saucepan until it's been dead at least half a dozen times and crumbled finely with NO LUMPS. but a while ago I had meatballs at K & A's and it was really easy and very yummy indeed. so here's my take on them.
1. get your conveniently premade-by-an-Aunt-and-frozen meatballs and space them out in a casserole/pyrex dish. I used about 15, which makes two meals for two and a half people.
2. let them thaw a bit while you make the sauce.
3. tip a big tin (800ml I think) of tomatoes into a bowl.
4. add a jar of salsa (medium gives a nice amount of zing). if you don't want to use salsa, more tomato is fine, say another small (400ml-ish) tin.
5. add whatever you like to add to pasta sauce. this time round, I added garlic, mild paprika, parsley, basil, oregano, and some roasted capsicum finely diced. if I was just making it for me, I'd add olives and artichokes too.
6. spoon over meatballs. you can pour, but they tend to go sliding a bit more, and being the sort I am, I like to Know Where My Meatballs Are (and that can be taken as a euphemism if you like).
7. bake for a while. this is where things get nebulous. I think it was about 180-200C for about 45 mins. the sauce should be not-quite-finger-burningly-hot in the middle.
8. pull out of the oven, top with whatever grated cheese you like (this time I couldn't be arsed grating, and I like the pizza mix which is mozzerella, parmesan and cheddar. I think it's Perfecto?).
9. whack it back in the oven on about 160-180C until cheese is melty, and the edge of the sauce is bubbling. I keep cheese in the freezer so it takes a little longer, and I like it to just start browning on top.
10. serve on top of rice or pasta. it's really good with rice, in fact I think I prefer it.
11. be careful as you start to eat because it's frigging hot.
I'm secretly thinking of trying this with some Ikea meatballs. just don't tell anyone. actually, I suspect TDN(tm) would be thrilled to bits because she's been trying to find an excuse to buy a pack of them.