GREEK MEATBALLS IN A FRAGRANT TOMATO SAUCE WITH FETA CHEESE

Meat and cottage cheese get blended together for these meatballs.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:  50 minutes
 Serves: 6-8
Recipe Ingredients:
500g ground meat
200g low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta
1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint and/or parsley, plus more for garnish
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
For tomato sauce:
400g tomato puree
1 tsp. minced garlic
4-5 basil leaves
1tsp. sugar
1tbsp white vinegar
1tbsp minced onion
½tsp black pepper powder
½tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
 
Recipe Method:
Put together all the ingredients for the tomato sauce in a sauce pan with 1 cup water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Pulse meat in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to bowl, and add all ingredients except oil, tomato sauce, and feta. Mash mixture with hands or potato masher until mixture comes together. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 3500F. Coat baking dish with oil. Scoop meat mixture into golf ball-size meatballs, and place in prepared baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
Pour tomato sauce over meatballs, and sprinkle with feta (if using). Bake 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly.

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Author of the Recipe: reetika varshney

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Life always gives big opportunities in the form of small hints. The big move in Pankaj Bhadouria’s life came with a small step when she decided to leave her successful teaching career spanning over 16 years and enter India's 1st televised cookery reality show - MasterChef India on the leading GEC - Star Plus. And as they say, fortune favours the brave, Pankaj went on to become a worthy winner and with it India's first ever MasterChef. The comfort of the classroom gave way to the adulations, accolades and a host of achievements. Pankaj hosted her first cookery show - "Chef Pankaj ka Zayka" on Star Plus during Sep-Oct 2011 where she showcased her passion for cooking. The success of this daily show added another flavor to her sweet success.

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