Meatballs with tasty tomato, thyme and bean sauce

I’ve not done a sensible supermarket shop for a few weeks, so this meal was born out of a rummage in the freezer and storecupboard.

I love making tomato sauces, but trying to get the balance of flavours right can be a bit tricky. Matthew’s particularly particular about how he likes his, and I can never seem to get it quite right.

So I tried a slightly different approach by using spring onions, a bit of soy sauce, a small amount of soft light brown sugar, a generous splurge of red wine and a liberal handful of fresh thyme. I also included a carton of red kidney beans to pad out the sauce and get a portion of pulses into the kids’ diet.

Bubbling hot!

It was a total winner and everyone loved it! Not too sweet, not too acidic, just really tasty and the perfect partner to the shop-bought beef meatballs I’d plucked out of the freezer, defrosted and slowly pan fried while the sauce bubbled away.

I served it up with a hearty portion of pasta, but it’d be equally nice with rice, bulgar wheat or potatoes. This is a fantastic hearty family supper that doesn’t take much effort at all.

Meatballs with tasty tomato, thyme and bean sauce

For the sauce (serves 4)

4 spring onions, chopped finely
1 x 400g tin of good quality plum tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, rinsed
1 heaped tsp light brown soft sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 glass of red wine
5 sprigs of thyme – strip leaves and discard stalks

1 x pack of 12 ready-made beef meatballs

1. On the hob heat the olive oil in heavy bottomed pan and gently soften the spring onions for about 5 mins being careful not to burn them.

2. Add the tomatoes to the pan, breaking them down with a wooden spoon. Then add the rest of the ingredients stirring thoroughly until combined.

3. Bring the sauce to an enthusiastic simmer and leave to cook until it thickens – 15-20 mins. During which time you can gently pan fry your meatballs.

4. I then slipped the cooked meatballs into the tomato sauce for a further 5 minutes on a gentle simmering heat before serving.



About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
This entry was posted in Mince and red meat, One pot suppers, Pasta dishes, Speedy suppers, Storecupboard cooking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Meatballs with tasty tomato, thyme and bean sauce

  1. OOoh wow, this sounds soo yummy, I’m going to make it today. Served with a good hunk of bread… or ryvita in my case! ;’-)

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