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Beef and bean meatballs in spiced tomato sauce


Serves: 6 adult servings
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Beef and bean meatballs in spiced tomato sauce
Recipe photograph by Lauren Mclean

Beef and bean meatballs in spiced tomato sauce

Cumin and cinnamon have a gentle, slightly sweet warmth which appeals to young palates. The aubergines are cut small enough so you can’t really tell they’re there and canned beans soften the texture of the meatballs and add extra fibre

Serves: 6 adult servings
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
581Kcal
Fat
19gr
Saturates
7gr
Carbs
64gr
Sugars
15gr
Fibre
8gr
Protein
34gr
Salt
1gr

Rebecca Woollard

Rebecca Woollard

Rebecca Woollard started her culinary career as a chalet cook. She is now a food stylist and recipe writer with 10 years of magazine experience.
See more of Rebecca Woollard’s recipes
Rebecca Woollard

Rebecca Woollard

Rebecca Woollard started her culinary career as a chalet cook. She is now a food stylist and recipe writer with 10 years of magazine experience.
See more of Rebecca Woollard’s recipes

Ingredients

For the meatballs
  • 1 x 400g tin butter beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 x 500g pack 12% fat beef mince
For the sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 1cm dice
  • 50-75g dried apricots, diced
To serve
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 150g Greek-style natural yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 cucumber, cut into sticks
  • 6 pitta breads, toasted

Step by step

Get ahead
The meatballs and sauce keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, or can be frozen.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Whiz the drained beans to a purée in a food processor (or mash with a potato masher). Add the breadcrumbs, egg, garlic and spices, then tip into a bowl and add the mince and seasoning, if you wish. Mix well, form into 30-36 small meatballs, spread out on a lightly oiled tray and bake for 20 minutes until starting to brown.
  2. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan; add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, for 5-6 minutes until softened; stir in the spices and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, diced aubergine, apricots and 300ml water Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the aubergines are soft and the sauce has started to thicken; season.
  3. Add the meatballs and stir into the sauce. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, then uncovered for 10 more minutes to thicken the sauce.
  4. Stir the garlic into the yogurt, scatter with a little coriander. Serve the meatballs and sauce in the pitta breads, or divide between bowls with pitta bread for dipping. Serve with the cucumber and garlic yogurt.

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