I love beef and I love pesto, so combining the two, much like my pesto panna cotta, was an inevitable happenstance! Baked pesto meatballs make a great alternative flavour to your regular meatball pasta dish but one of my favourite ways of serving them is also as a canapé, at the end of a cocktail stick, with either a piece of cheese, cucumber or marinated/roasted tomato.
You’ll find the recipe for homemade pesto here, it’s a 5 minute job, so, please do make it yourself.
Don’t forget to check out my other pesto recipes like:
Delicious Italian meatballs with a twist - these ones are zinged up with pesto!
- 500g (just over 1 lb) minced beef
- 100g (3.5 oz) pesto, preferably home made
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 80g (2.5 oz) white breadcrumbs, about 3 slices of bread
- 60g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
- small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, depending on how fatty your meat is
- 400g (17 oz) can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 large onion, sliced
- half each, green & red capsicum, sliced, fresh or chargrilled
- 2 tomatoes, in rounds, or handful roasted
- 2 Tbsp sundried tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, if needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- torn basil leaves and some mozzarella to serve
- Mix all the meatball ingredients (apart from the oil) in a large bowl.
- Make medium sized balls, you should get about 2 dozen.
- Heat the oil on medium high heat and brown the meatballs, turning them, for about 2 minutes each side. Do this in batches, no overcrowding as you want the meatballs to fry not stew.
- Place all the meatballs, in a single layer, in a large, oven proof dish and turn the oven on to 180˚C (350˚F).
- We'll be using the same pan for the sauce. If there is much fat left, tip all but 1 tbsp of it out. Add the 1 tbsp of olive oil if not. Heat this on medium heat.
- Fry the onions for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Add everything else in and bring to a simmer. Check seasoning.
- Pour this sauce all over the meatballs and bake in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes, at which point the sauce will be bubbling at the edges.
- Serve with pasta, bread or rice.
- Some mozzarella will go very nicely if serving the Baked Pesto Meatballs with pasta or bread.