Serve these meat balls with spaghetti as a change from Bolognese sauce.
150 g (5 oz) crustless wholemeal bread
150 ml (1/4 pint) fresh milk
25 g (1 oz) butter
20 ml (4 tsp) plain wholemeal flour
200 ml (7 floz) beef stock
397 g (14 oz) can tomatoes, sieved with their juice
pinch of sugar
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 large onion, skinned and finely chopped
450 g (1 lb) lean minced beef
5 ml (l tsp) paprika
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
1. Crumble the bread into a bowl, pour over the milk and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put 15 g (1/2 oz) of the butter, flour and stock in a saucepan. Heat, whisking continuously, until the sauce thickens, boils and is smooth.
3. Add the tomatoes, sugar and thyme. Season to taste and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
4. Put the onion and the mince in a bowl and add the soaked bread together with any remaining milk and paprika. Season to taste. Using floured hands, shape the mixture into 16 balls.
5. Heat the oil and remaining butter in a frying pan, add the meat balls, a few at a time, and fry until browned all over.
6. Place the meat balls in a single layer in a shallow ovenproof serving dish and pour over the sauce. Cover and bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for about 30 minutes. Serve hot, over spaghetti.
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