Instructions for Marinara Sauce
- Place oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook until they start to go clear (do not brown).
- Add the salt, chili flakes, tin of tomatoes and basil.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes or longer. The longer you gently cook the sauce, the deeper the flavors will develop.
- Prepare the meatballs while sauce simmers.
Cook’s Note: This marinara sauce can be made a day ahead. Is also very versatile and can be made alone to use with pasta or gnocchi. Prawns with garlic and white wine and spoon marinara over. (If using whole chilis in the marinara, don’t forget to remove them before serving the sauce).
Instructions for Meatballs
- Heat the 2 T of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook until everything is soft, about 4 – 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl add the lamb, mint leaves, thyme, pine nuts, sultanas, lemon, salt, pepper and egg.
- Add the cooled onion.
- Mix all together with your hands.
- Add the breadcrumbs so you have a consistency that is not too dry nor too wet. The meat should easily stay together.
- Heat a large skillet and add the 1/4 cup of olive oil.
- Roll the meatballs to golf ball size (or whatever size you prefer) and add to the hot oil.
- Don’t move the meatballs for about 3-4 minutes so they become brown and a crust forms which helps keep the meatball to stay together. Cook on all sides. If worried about the middle being cooked, can either turn the heat to lower and continue cooking, or take the hot pan with meatballs and place in a preheated 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
- Serve meatballs with marinara sauce spooned over the top and sprinkle with a good amount of Parmesan Reggiano cheese.