Meatballs in Vodka Sauce

Meatballs in Vodka Sauce

A hearty dish, for 8-12 people, and worth making in quantity.

  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small tin tomato paste
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 75ml (¼ cup) vodka
  • For the meatballs:
  • 700g (1 ½ lbs) ground beef
  • 225g (½ lb) Italian-style pork sausage, well chopped
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 55g (2 oz) bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 24 small balls fresh mozzarella cheese
  1. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions until soft, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato paste, and the carrots, oregano, water and vodka, stirring gently. Simmer gently until the sauce thickens and the vegetable are all soft. Add extra water if it gets too thick. Season to taste.
  2. While the sauce is cooking, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Mix the ground beef, sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, onion, oregano and some salt and pepper in a bowl. For each meatball, take two tablespoons of the mixture and press a small mozzarella ball into the center, rolling the meat completely around it. Repeat until you’ve used all the meat.
  3. Bake the meatballs in the oven for about 25 minutes, checking they’re cooked all the way through. When done, put them in with the sauce, and serve with hot pasta.

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