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MEATBALLS WITH A RICH TOMATO & BELL PEPPER SAUCE

The 5-A-Day Menu Planner
by Susannah Blake
Serves 4


Ingredients

• 2 cups seeded and chopped red bell peppers
• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 12 oz. lean ground beef
• 1/2 onion, grated
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tsp. thyme
• 2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
• 1 tbsp. tomato paste
• 1/3 cup beef stock
• salt and freshly ground black pepper


Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Put the bell peppers in a baking dish, drizzle with half the oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in the hot oven about 20 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, put the beef, onion, garlic, Parmesan, and half the thyme in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Roll the mixture into 35 to 40 bitesize balls.

Heat the remaining oil in a large, nonstick pan until hot, then add the meatballs and brown them all over, working in batches if necessary.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, bell peppers, and remaining thyme to the pan and season with salt and pepper, then simmer gently about 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked.
 

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