A quick hop around the web looking at Sydney food blog posts over the past week will yield one key learning – winter has arrived. The number of comfort food recipes has well and truly increased almost overnight. And why the sudden leap to winter food? Well, it seems Autumn never actually arrived. We went from summer to winter in a weekend.
With the heater on, oven on and clothes dryer running, I’m still cold. But then, I was never really a winter person. I’m a lover of in-between states – spring and autumn are my bag – so you can understand I’m feeling a bit duped at losing Autumn, because I love it. It also doesn’t help that the majority of Australian trees aren’t deciduous, so I never get to see that glorious autumnal glow.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though, because winter food is totally my bag! A lover of dishes I can prepare and leave bubbling away on the cooktop, I relish the opportunity for meaty and saucy dishes with lashings of flavour that I can serve to Scotty when he comes home. It also means I can prep it all and then potter around until its ready – and I do love to potter.
This isn’t the first meatballs in tomato sauce dish I’ve posted on this here blog, but with the last dish flavoured toward my Italian heritage, this greek version has a different flavour profile which proves equally delicious. With cheese, nuts, mint and cinnamon flavours in the meatballs all cooked bubbling in tomato sauce, they are like the food version of a warm hug.
What would I change if I made it next time? Well, only the shape. My Italian heritage led me to make ball shapes but the traditional Greek shape is more like a football.
Keftedes me Saltsa Domata | Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 small white onion, finely diced
- 100g Greek feta, in 1/2cm cubes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Small onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 700g bottle tomato passata
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Begin by preparing the meatballs. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and then work well with your hands until it is completely combined. Roll into 12 meatballs (either round or in football shapes) and set aside in the fridge.
Heat your cast iron casserole dish on the stove top over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic and chilli, and sauté until translucent. Add the tomato passata, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the meatballs gently to the sauce and spoon sauce over the top of them. Turn heat down to a simmer and then gently simmer for 20 -30 minutes turning the meatballs halfway through until cooked to your liking. Serve with spoonfuls of sauce, crusty bread and Greek salad.