|Spaghetti Meatballs in Tomato sauce|
Through my non-vegetarian years, I grew up on something called ‘Mutsch’ (pronounced Matss) which, in simpler words are minced meatballs in Kashmiri spice gravy. But in recent times, I have heard more about them from my brother’s mouth, mostly complaining that he does not get enough of them back in Bangalore. So last month, when the complains rose to an all time high, we both finally decided to go for an experiment to create some magic.
While it was ‘Mutsch’ that he was missing, we steered clear of them and instead went for Italian meatballs in tomato sauce, because as fantastic a cook I may be, the Kashmiri meatballs are much more complex than their Italian counterparts. One of the primary differences between the two is the fact that while meatballs are deep fried before being dropped in the red tomato sauce, uncooked Mutsch is directly put in a gravy (spices, water and oil) to be cooked and still don’t disintegrate.
Why I decided to write about meatballs is because cooking the Italian meatballs turned out to be surprisingly easy in terms of effort and very rewarding in terms of flavor. From what I hear, some people are still getting dreams about the fantastic dinner on Christmas Eve. I would love to take 50 percent of the credit for my fantastic recipe of the tomato sauce but the rest was still the juicy meatballs themselves. So if you are ever in the mood to invest an hour into dinner to have a brilliant meal this is the thing to do. The following recipe uses only minced mutton but you can also use beef, pork or veal.
2 Green onions chopped
½ chopped Leeks
5 Garlic cloves chopped
2 Onions chopped
1 Bell pepper
50 g Tomato puree
½ cup Red Wine
20 g plain bread crumbs
60 ml milk
450 g ground meat
5 g grated Parmesan cheese
6 g salt
0.4 g red pepper flakes
1 g ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 egg beaten
- Heat Olive oil in the pan.
- Add chopped onions, garlic, leeks and green onions. Sauté
- Add a teaspoon of sugar and let them cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Puree tomatoes and one bell pepper together. Add to the sautéed onions.
- Add the chilli flakes. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the red wine, salt and tomato puree.
- Cook till the paste thickens.
- Boil the milk.
- Soak bread crumbs in milk.
- Mix mutton together in a large bowl with bread crumb mixture, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese into meat mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
- Using wet hands, form meat mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Pour equal amounts of vegetable oil and olive oil into a large skillet. Heat the oil. Very carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat. Don’t crowd the meatballs.
- Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve with boiled spaghetti.