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You Need to Make these Homemade Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

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Adi Marom – @adimarom5
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A high-end, delicious homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe that will leave you craving more…

INGREDIENTS
 

Meatballs:

Sauce:

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) in convection mode.
  • In a bowl, place the ground beef, bread crumbs, cilantro, onion, potato, spices, and oil. Knead everything well for several minutes until a cohesive mixture is formed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the tomatoes, red bell peppers, and hot peppers. Bake for about 35 minutes. Remove and let cool. Peel the skins off the peppers and tomatoes, and remove the seeds. Cut the peppers into coarse pieces and finely chop the tomatoes.
  • In a skillet with oil, fry the chopped onion until golden. Add the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, and mix everything well. Add the tomato paste, date syrup, and spices, and mix. Add 600 milliliters of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer on low-medium heat for about 35 minutes.
  • Take the meatball mixture out of the refrigerator, form it into evenly sized patties, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over the meatballs and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the oven and place them directly into the sauce. Cook the meatballs in the sauce for an additional 30 minutes.

MY NOTES

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

What type of ground beef should I use?

When choosing ground beef for meatballs, it’s important to consider the fat content for the best texture and flavor. For optimal results, use ground beef with 20% fat content, often labeled as 80/20. This blend provides enough fat to keep the meatballs juicy and flavorful without being overly greasy. Leaner beef, such as 90/10, can result in drier meatballs, while higher fat content, like 70/30, may make them too greasy. Additionally, using a blend of different cuts, such as chuck and sirloin, can enhance the taste and texture, giving your homemade meatballs a rich, satisfying flavor.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

How to peel and deseed the peppers and tomatoes

Properly peeling and deseeding peppers and tomatoes is essential for a smooth sauce. For peppers, roast them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 35 minutes until the skins blister. Let them cool, then peel off the skins and remove the seeds and stems. For tomatoes, make an “X” incision at the bottom and blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer to an ice bath. The skins will easily peel off. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. This method ensures a smooth, flavorful base for your sauce.

Can I substitute the date syrup with another sweetener?

Yes, you can substitute date syrup with other sweeteners in your recipe. Honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar are excellent alternatives, offering similar sweetness and consistency. Molasses can also work, adding a richer flavor. If you prefer a non-liquid sweetener, brown sugar or coconut sugar can be used, though they may slightly alter the sauce’s texture. Adjust the quantity to taste, as different sweeteners have varying levels of sweetness. These substitutes will still provide a delightful balance to your tomato sauce.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

Make these homemade meatballs and tomato sauce gluten free?

To make the meatballs gluten-free, replace the bread crumbs with gluten-free alternatives. Crushed gluten-free crackers, gluten-free oats, or gluten-free bread crumbs work well. Almond flour or ground flaxseeds are also good options, providing a similar binding effect. Ensure all other ingredients, like spices and sauces, are certified gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination. When preparing the mixture, handle it gently to maintain the meatballs’ texture. Baking or frying methods remain the same, ensuring the meatballs are cooked through. These adjustments will create delicious gluten-free meatballs without compromising on flavor or texture.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

What can I use instead of baharat?

If you can’t find baharat spice blend, you can create a similar blend at home using common spices. Combine equal parts of ground black pepper, coriander, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Optionally, add nutmeg and cardamom for extra depth. This homemade mix will closely mimic baharat’s warm, aromatic flavor. Alternatively, you can use garam masala or allspice as substitutes, though the taste will vary slightly. These alternatives will still enhance your meatballs and sauce with rich, complex flavors.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

How long can I store these homemade meatballs and tomato sauce?

Leftover meatballs and sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure they are kept in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent odors from other foods from affecting the flavor. For longer storage, freeze the meatballs and sauce in freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags for up to 3 months. When reheating, thaw in the refrigerator overnight if frozen, and heat thoroughly on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

Can I freeze the meatballs for later use?

Yes, you can freeze the meatballs and sauce for later use. Allow them to cool completely before transferring to freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Label with the date to keep track of storage time. Frozen meatballs and sauce can be stored for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat thoroughly on the stove or in the microwave. This method ensures you have a convenient, delicious meal ready whenever needed.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

What side dishes pair well with these meatballs?

These meatballs and tomato sauce pair wonderfully with a variety of side dishes. Classic options include spaghetti or other pasta, which soak up the flavorful sauce beautifully. Mashed potatoes or creamy polenta provide a comforting, hearty base. For a lighter option, serve with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables like broccoli or green beans. Garlic bread or crusty baguettes are perfect for sopping up the extra sauce. For a Mediterranean touch, consider couscous or quinoa. These versatile side dishes complement the rich, savory flavors of the meatballs and sauce, making for a satisfying and well-rounded meal.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

Can I cook the meatballs entirely in the sauce?

Yes, you can cook the meatballs entirely in the sauce instead of baking them. After forming the meatballs, gently place them directly into the simmering sauce. Cook on low-medium heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, ensuring they are cooked through and have absorbed the sauce’s flavors. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. This method keeps the meatballs tender and infuses them with a rich taste, though they may be softer compared to baked meatballs.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes for the sauce?

Yes, you can use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes for the sauce. Canned tomatoes are convenient and often have a rich, concentrated flavor. Use diced or whole canned tomatoes and crush them slightly with a spoon before adding to the sauce. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as canned tomatoes are already cooked and may require less simmering than fresh tomatoes to develop the desired consistency and flavor. This substitution ensures your sauce maintains a robust tomato flavor and smooth texture.

How do I prevent the meatballs from falling apart while cooking?

To prevent meatballs from falling apart while cooking, ensure the mixture is well combined but not overworked. Use a binder such as eggs or breadcrumbs to hold them together. Refrigerate the mixture before forming into balls, as this helps the flavors meld and the texture firm up. When shaping the meatballs, handle them gently and avoid compacting them too tightly. Cook them over medium heat, turning them gently with tongs or a spatula to ensure even cooking. These steps will help maintain the meatballs’ shape and texture during cooking.

homemade meatballs and tomato sauce recipe
Credit: Adi Marom – @adimarom5

What is the best way to reheat homemade meatballs and tomaot sauce?

The best way to reheat meatballs and sauce is gently on the stove over low to medium heat. Place them in a saucepan or skillet with a lid to prevent drying out, and add a splash of water or broth to maintain moisture. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish, covering loosely with a damp paper towel to retain moisture. Adjust heating time based on portion size until thoroughly warmed.

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