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.
I like making my meatballs without any flour but if you prefer to do down the rolling the balls in flour before frying, by all means, do so but keeping the flour off makes it gluten free.
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 minced beef
- 100g pesto, preferably home made
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 80g white breadcrumbs, about 3 slices of bread
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
- small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil, depending on how fatty your meat is
- 400g 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 200˚C/Fan 180˚C.
- 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 the first two.