British Tomatoes and Mini Meatballs

British Tomatoes and Mini Meatballs



Pasta sauce:
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped finely
2 celery sticks, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2tsp dried Italian mixed herbs
600g British vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
300ml vegetable stock
2tsp balsamic vinegar
1tsp caster sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

250g lean minced beef
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1tsp dried Italian mixed herbs
300g tagliatelle or spaghetti
20 British baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
Basil leaves, to garnish


Make this simply fabulous pasta dish with ripe British tomatoes. It’s delicious!

Serves 4
Prep time: 15min
Cook time: 45min

1. For the tomato pasta sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Add the herbs and tomatoes and fry for another few minutes, then add the vegetable stock. Heat and simmer for 18-20 minutes.

2. While the sauce is cooking, mix together the minced beef, onion and herbs. Season. Form into about 20 small meatballs. Heat a large frying pan, add the meatballs and fry gently for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally.

3. Puree the sauce in a blender, or use a hand-held stick blender. Adjust the seasoning, adding balsamic vinegar, caster sugar, salt and black pepper. Set aside and keep warm over a low heat.
4. Cook the tagliatelle or spaghetti according to pack instructions. Drain, then return to the saucepan with the pasta sauce and meatballs. Stir in the baby plum or cherry tomatoes, heat through for a moment, then serve garnished with basil leaves.

Cook’s tip: Make double quantities of the sauce and freeze half for later.

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Fact 12

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2.5 million British native bumblebees pollinate all the tomato crops in the UK. That’s 24 billion wing beats per minute in British tomato greenhouses.

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Andy Roe

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