*A short-cut to shaping meatballs; make your meatball mix, then scrape the mixture out of the bowl and onto a clean cutting board. Flatten the mixture until it is an inch thick. Then using a knife cut the mixture into 1-inch squares. Now you will have a cutting board full of squares of meatball mixture, Scoop up each square and roll into a ball.

**Meatballs are a great make-ahead meal as they will freeze and defrost brilliantly. The best way to do this is to shape and fry the meatballs and freeze them without sauce. When you are ready to serve them, make the sauce and add the defrosted meatballs to the sauce.

***A great short cut when precision onion chopping isn’t needed, like in a tomato sauce, is to chop your onions in the food processor.

**** If you have to peel a whole load of garlic, place unpeeled garlic cloves in a bowl of just-boiled water, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, the garlic peels will slip right off the cloves

  • 900g (2 lbs) mince beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 70g (¼ cup) matza meal
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • ½ tablespoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (726g – 26ounce) jar pasta sauce/marinara
  • 1 (400g) tin, chickpeas with their water

To Serve:

Chermola (recipe follows)

Ready-made couscous

To make the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the minced beef, egg, matzah meal, ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. Shape the beef into small (1-inch diameter) balls.

Once all the meatballs are shaped, heat oil in a large saute pan with a cover, over medium heat fry the meatballs, on all sides until the meatballs are evenly browned on the outside (they will cook further in the sauce) do this step in at least two if not three batches depending on the size of your pan, as you do not want to overcrowd the pan. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pot pour off all but 1 tablespoon of accumulated fat, add the additional tablespoon of oil and heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, making sure to scrape up any residue from the meatballs, once the onion is very soft about 7-8 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add the whole jar of pasta sauce along with the chickpeas and their liquid to the sauce and bring to a boil, lower the heat so that the sauce is simmering, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Taste the sauce for seasoning, add the meatballs and any accumulated juices from the plate back into the tomato chickpea sauce and bring back to a boil. Once boiling lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 20-minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

For Chermola:

  • 80g (1 large bunch) fresh coriander, and their stems
  • 3-4 preserved lemons, remove flesh and pits
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 thumbs worth fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1-3 green chillies (optional)
  • 240ml (1 cup) olive oil

Place the coriander, the skins of the preserved lemon, garlic, ginger, and chillies if using, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until all the ingredients are finely minced. Opening up the machine a couple of times and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Once all the ingredients are well minced, with the motor running, stream in the olive oil, until you have a paste, keep adding olive oil until it has emulsified.

Store in an airtight container in the fridges for up to two weeks.