We love meatballs in our house (Blair’s usually our resident meatball chef) and make them tender by soaking breadcrumbs in milk and finishing by baking them in the oven. Feel free to use any mince and leave out the paprika for fussy wee ones. We sometimes bake them with buffalo mozzarella or blue cheese and always soak them up with toasted sourdough. This recipe would serve 5-6, we have them over two nights
Paprika & Parmesan Meatball Bake w/ Greek Yoghurt
1 cup breadcrumbs or 3 slices bread blitzed in a food processor (we used stale sourdough)
⅓ cup milk
1 kg mince (we used half beef and half pork but either is fine or chicken mince)
1 small onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated (plus extra for baking as below)
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional, you could use regular or leave out)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup Olive oil, for frying
5 cups store bought tomato pasta sauce (or tinned tomatoes heated with 4 cloves fried garlic, a bayleaf, salt and pepper)
1 cup Parmesan, finely grated
Thick Greek yoghurt to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 200C
Pour milk over bread and let stand until liquid is almost absorbed – a few minutes will do.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and form meat into approx 25 golfball meatballs. They’re great to make ahead.
Add olive oil to frypan. Place over a medium-high heat. When oil is hot, fry meatballs in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer fried meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate.
Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a a large rectangular casserole dish. Sprinkle one-third of the parmesan over sauce. Scatter half the meatballs over the parmesan. Top with half of the remaining sauce, sprinkle with another third of the parmesan, and repeat layering, ending with a final layer of sauce and parmesan.
Bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Serve on thick greek yoghurt with bread and salad greens. We had some chilli oil on hand so poured it on the yoghurt but hot chilli sauce or olive oil would work equally well.