Just look at this.
How filthy does that look? A meatball smash is beautiful thing but it’s beautiful in a very gluttonous, greedy way. So the best way, really. Just looking at this photo is making my stomach rumble.
Best of all, though, is that you can eat this and still feel vaguely good about yourself. Yes there’s meat and cheese and bread and an intensely delicious sauce, but I used lean meat, low-fat cheese, brown pitta bread, and a sauce that gets its flavour from spices rather than fat. You can make this and eat it happy in the knowledge that you’re helping your body rather than hurting it. And you’ll be very happy in the stomach, too, because MAN this tastes good.
It’s based on my favourite meal from Polpo, a Piadina Meatball Smash. I took the meatball recipe from the Polpo cookbook, adapted it to make it easier for a domestic kitchen, crushed the meatballs with my fork, stuck them in a pitta and baked them. It’s one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, especially since my adaptations also make it nice and easy for a low-effort weekday supper.
I serve this with some fennel seed coleslaw and lots of salad. I like something slightly bitter, like rocket, as the sauce is nice and sweet.
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- 2 cans of tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- 500g pork and beef mince
- 1 egg
- Handful of basil leaves, chopped
- 4 wholemeal pitta breads
- 160g reduced-fat cheese
- To make the sauce, sweat the onion and the garlic with salt and pepper and the chilli flakes. Add the tomatoes and the oregano. Simmer gently for 30 minutes
- Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Roll them into golf-ball sized balls and roast at 220C for 10 minutes
- Put the meatballs in the sauce and poach for 10 minutes in a covered saucepan
- Split the pittas, fill with the meatballs and sauce, then top with the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes more and serve