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Recipe

Chicken and courgette meatballs with cherry tomato sauce

This chicken and courgette meatball dish highlights the importance of fresh, good-quality ingredients in cooking - resulting in a delightfully succulent meal. The cherry tomato sauce makes this a perfect dinner for a warm evening!

By Jo Wilcox
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

  • 500 g chicken mince
  • 1/2 onion, very finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves or shredded basil
  • 1 courgette, grated, excess juice squeezed out with clean hands or wrung out in a tea towel
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil, for frying
Cherry tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 6 small vine tomatoes, halved
  • 1 punnet coloured cherry tomatoes
  • 8-10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste mixed with ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Good pinch brown sugar
  • Sea salt

Method

  • 1
    In a large bowl, combine chicken mince, onion, garlic, fennel seeds, herbs, courgette, egg and panko. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (this will allow the breadcrumbs to soak up any excess moisture). Roll into walnut-sized balls and set aside.
  • 2
    Cook meatballs in one of two ways. Either simmer in a little water or chicken stock for 4-5 minutes (this will set them into a nice round shape and keep them looking pale), or heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and fry in batches for 5-8 minutes, tossing until golden all over.
  • 3
    For sauce, heat oil in a large frying pan and gently fry garlic and onion until soft and fragrant but not coloured. Add all the tomatoes, basil and wine and allow to soften and blister. Add diluted tomato paste and season to taste with balsamic, brown sugar, sea salt and pepper.
  • 4
    Nestle meatballs in the sauce and heat through thoroughly then spoon into shallow bowls. These are delicious served with grated parmesan for sprinkling and crusty bread to mop up the juices.

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