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MEATBALLS IN A GARDEN MARINARA SAUCE

My tomatoes were a flop this year.

Major flop.

It was just too hot and dry for them to live in the tubs we've always used.


But the two tomatoes that were planted in my raised beds (black strawberry tomatoes) have done phenomenal.

Like, really phenomenal.

I harvested a bunch this week and decided to turn them into a delicious pasta sauce and cook some meatballs in it.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how it would turn out because it was a "use what you have" type of meal.

But I recorded it just incase and I'm glad I did because it turned out phenomenal.


Look at all those beauties!!


& the finished product!


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MEATBALLS IN A GARDEN SAUCE
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VIDEO



INGREDIENTS

for the sauce

  • 6-8 cups black strawberry tomatoes, or any type of cherry tomato

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 6-8 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

for the meatballs

  • 2# ground beef

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons oregano

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, optional

  • 1/3 cup parmesan, optional


DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large dutch oven to medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes.

  2. Once the onions are fragrant and slightly browned, add garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes, salt & pepper, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes allowing the tomatoes cook down.

  4. While the sauce is simmering, make your meatballs. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and form your meatballs using a cookie scoop to ensure even sizes. Set aside.

  5. After 20 minutes, ladle the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. (An immersion blender would work well too if you wanted more of a rustic, chunky sauce.)

  6. Add the sauce back to the dutch oven and lower the meatballs into the sauce. Stir to coat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  7. Serve - we love topping ours with additional fresh basil, crushed red pepper and some asiago cheese.

  8. Enjoy!

NOTES

  • Breadcrumbs and parmesan would be a great addition to flavor the meatballs if you wish.

  • An immersion blender will give more of a rustic chunky sauce but I prefer smooth when I am cooking meatballs dredged into the sauce. They cook more evenly.

  • The mint is of course optional too, but I highly recommend giving it a go. It isn't minty, just adds a nice freshness.


Hope you all are having a happy day!


As always, feel free to reach out whenever.

Like, comment and share this post.

It really helps me out more than you know.


Thanks for being here. 🫶🏼


xoxo

Kirsten ☀️.

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