New York Capital of Food
© 2019 Lisa Nieschlag / Murdoch Books · Reproduced with permission. · New York Capital of Food by Lisa Nieschlag and Lars Wentrup (Murdoch Books, £20). Photography by Lisa Nieschlag.
You Will Need
To prepare the meatballs, place the minced meat into a mixing bowl. Peel and finely mince the garlic and onion. Wash and deseed the chilli and also chop finely. Combine the eggs, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, chilli, lime zest and parmesan with the minced meat. Generously season the mixture with salt and pepper and knead well to combine. Use moistened hands to shape the mixture into small balls, then set the balls aside on a large, flat plate and refrigerate.
For the tomato sauce, peel the garlic and shallots. Mince the garlic and finely dice the shallots. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wide saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and sweat for a few minutes until translucent. Stir in the tomato paste and briefly fry. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar and add 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir everything for a few minutes to caramelise.
Add the diced tomatoes and passata and leave the sauce to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
After about 20 minutes, heat the olive oil for frying the meatballs in another large frying pan. Fry the meatballs in two batches over medium to high heat until well browned all over. Season the simmering sauce with chilli flakes, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the fried meatballs, cover with a lid and continue to cook for another 10 minutes over low heat. Season the sauce again with salt and pepper.
Remove the meatballs from the sauce and serve hot on a platter or with toothpicks as finger food or part of a buffet. Alternatively, leave to cool and pack as a snack on your next picnic. Serve the sauce as a dip on the side, garnished with fresh oregano.