Meatballs such as these are the essence of speedy but substantial midweek cooking and are surprisingly simple and easy to put together. Turkey is a high protein and lean meat with good flavour but because of the lack of fat can dry easily. The fattiness of the pork sausage adds a pleasing succulence to the meatballs, helps to prevent them from drying out and adds an already seasoned meat to the mix making them a very useful ingredient here and in other meatballs. Be careful though, a good quality, high percentage of pork sausage is important here but feel free to experiment with different varieties; a pork sausage with fennel for example could be an interesting flavour inclusion. ‘Nduja is a spreadable spicy pork sausage native to Calabria in Southern Italy that is typically used as a pizza topping but can also simply be spread on bread or used in pasta sauces. Bold, rich and with a fiery heat a little goes a long way so in this meatball recipe it adds a nicely muted but present chilli kick that lifts the dish to something a little bit special. Of course if you can’t get your hands on it these meatballs are wonderful as they are without so just omit it if your tastebuds desire.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
A simple tomato sauce such as this is really easy to throw together at short notice using common, easy to hand fridge and pantry ingredients. Any tomato sauce like this also freezes incredibly well so I often up the quantities, batch cook and freeze for again to stir through pasta or to add to tomato based stews or sauces. As it is all about the tomatoes here try to use good quality tinned varieties for this; tins of cherry tomatoes are good or whole plum tomatoes either chopped before cooking or bruised and broken down with the back of a wooden spoon as they cook. Of course chopped tinned tomatoes will also work but may require a pinch of sugar as the tend to lack the natural sweetness of whole tinned tomatoes. If you want to add basil to this simply add at the end of cooking to keep the flavour of the herb fresh and vibrant. I like to use a chicken stockpot in this as it seasons the sauce but also adds a depth of flavour to a quick cook sauce but substitute with a vegetable one if desired. As bought stock tends to be quite salty be careful of this when seasoning, making sure to taste the sauce and adjust accordingly to your taste.
Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce