My kids really enjoyed this dish. The mini meatballs are great for little hands and they are packed with flavour. I served up my eldest portion without the roasted veg, (just a gave him a few of the tomatoes with his) ad he loved it too. So it was a great dish for the entire family to enjoy.
Mini Beef and Portobello Meatballs with Roasted Vegetables and Orecchiette
Serves 4 (2 adults and 2 kids)
- 400g of lean ground beef
- 200g of baby portobello mushrooms (or similar type mushroom)*
- fresh thyme
- black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- approx 15 grape/cherry tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 fennel bulb, stalked removed and roughly chopped
- 300g of orecchiette pasta (or similar type dried pasta)
- olive oil
- 60g of Parmesan Cheese
- freshly chopped parsley
*try not to use button mushrooms for this recipe, as they just dont have the same flavour.
Preheat oven to 180c or 350f (gas mark 6)
Place the mushrooms in a mini food processor and do a couple of spins of the blade to finely chop the mushrooms (be careful not to over do it, as you do not want the mushrooms pureed, you just want small pieces of mushroom)
Add some olive oil to a frying pan over a medium high heat , add the mushrooms and a little fresh thyme and fry the mushrooms for about 3 mins, just to soften. Season with some black pepper, and place in a bowl to cool down.
Add all your veg to an oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and then mix well to evenly coat. Place in the oven to roast until slightly caramelised and softened. Approx 40 mins.
Once your mushrooms have cooled down, add the ground beef to the bowl along with the beaten egg and bind together well and form into mini meatballs. Place these on a baking sheet.
Once you have made all your meatballs, add these to the oven and bake until golden all over, approx 20-30 mins.
While the meatballs and vegetables are cooking in the oven you can bring a saucepan of water to a boil, then add your orecchiette pasta and cook to your liking.
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven, add your meatballs to the dish and the orecchiette pasta and gently mix it all together.
Top each serving with some Parmesan cheese and a little chopped parsley (leave this off for your fussy ones).