So, although this is one of the Americans food holidays, I think everyone everywhere should celebrate national meatball day!
Some of the earliest record of meatballs in food history dates back to the Chinese Qin dynasty (221 BC to 207 BC) and is even in the Roman cookbook Apicius! However, since it is so simple and inexpensive to put together (just grind up some meat and roll it in to balls) we may never know who put the first dish together!
Its simplicity is what made it so appealing to italian-american immigrants in the late 19th century. Adapted from their italian poplette and paired with tins of chopped tomatoes and spaghetti (which were also cheap at the time), spaghetti and meatballs became a staple part of the american diet.
With different types of meatballs and different flavours, there’s definitely a meatball out there for everyone (there’s even veggie ones), and there’s all different ways you can enjoy them too! You can put them on pizza, put them in a soup, put them in a wrap! You can enjoy them any way you like, but my favourite is the good old american way with some pasta and sauce!
So, after getting a herb rack for Christmas, I started trying out all types of different sauces. I’m still trying to perfect my lasagna, but I think I’ve nailed the meatball sauce!
All you need is:
- Meatballs (I use swedish style meatballs)
- Tin of chopped tomatoes (two if you want more juice in it)
- 2 tbsp tomatoe puree
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (for a hot kick if you like)
- 3/4 tomatoe can of water
Cook your meatballs in the frying pan first with a bit of oil or butter, cooking for however long it suggests on the packet before adding the chopped tomatoes and the tomatoe puree, ensuring you stir it all together.
Next, start sprinkling your herbs and spices over the top, stirring it as you go. Once thats done, add the water and mix it all together!
Now let it simmer on a low heat. Maybe twenty minutes or so. It’ll help marinate the meat and let all the flavours coincide and develop!
Lastly, serve up with some pasta! You can student it with twirls or lady and tramp it up with some spaghetti.