Growing up mostly vegetarian as I did, it took my Mother-in-law to introduce me to the wonders of Meaty Comfort Foods, such as bolognese, cannelloni and lasagna. I loved when we went to their house for a Sunday dinner and instead of a traditional roast and two veg, there was a juicy, aromatic dish of pasta al fourno bubbling happily away in the oven. These little meat balls, stuffed with a cube of good dutch cheese, went down in a gobble and a gulp from a very satisfied Mr P, half Dutch as he is. The meat balls take a bit (though not much) of fiddling and it’s a good idea to start them a little in advance, say 45 mins before you want to eat, but the rest of the meal is dead simple: just a pot of good pasta on to boil and the simplest of tomato sauces. I made my sauce with a can of whole, peeled, Italian Plum tomatoes, some salt, some sugar and a good dollop of really good Olive oil, just boiled away for 20 mins while I carried on with the meat balls.
Meat Balls stuffed with Maasdam Cheese
450g – 500g lean minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten
± 20 ½cm cubes of Maasdam, or other hard cheese
flour for dusting
Veg oil for frying
– combine all ingredients, except cheese, flour and oil, in a bowl and mix well
– roll balls about 1 inch in size and push a piece of cheese into the middle of each
– dunk in the flour and shake the meat ball in your hand to remove excess flour
– fry the balls in batches in the hot oil. Turn frequently to brown all over.
– Serve with pasta and tomato sauce.