Sunday, 28 June 2015

One Pan Man

Polpettini, Fagiolina Gialla & Pomodorini Datterini
Little Meatballs with Yellow Beans and "Date" Tomatoes


There are a number of reasons to love those one-pot or one-pan recipes... They are easy, they are convenient, they make for less washing up... But there is one main reason that I love them and that is because they guarantee that every bit of flavor stays right there and gets concentrated into a wonderful end-result. Every time.

This dish was a perfect example of all of those things, with simple ingredients, elevated in flavor to becoming super delicious and so much more than the sum of its parts... And then, yeah, there is the fact that you only need to wash that one pan!


Simple, tasty little Italian meatballs, fresh beans, fruity tomatoes, a little grated cheese and some fresh herbs... Sounded good to me this evening! Meatballs are a great comfort food and usually something that we have all loved since our childhood. I think that familiarity is what makes them always taste good and always have a hint of nostalgia.

Unless of course somewhere along the line, you became vegan or vegetarian... In which case I have to say sorrrry! I will fix something nice for you good people next time!

To make 10 little meatballs I needed 175g of mixed ground meat (beef and pork), 1 spring onion, 1 egg, 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs, 2 handfuls of beans (yellow in the case), 10 date tomatoes, fresh parsley and marjoram, olive oil, salt and pepper and a little Grana cheese.

I love these little, elongated, "date" shaped tomatoes. They are a little firmer than regular, round cherry tomatoes and have a slightly fruitier, tangier flavor.. and they add the juiciness to this dish that makes it complete.

I decided to use them rather than cooking to meatballs in a tomato sauce, to make a more summery dish that would be perfect eaten hot or cold. Theoretically speaking of course... Because I finished off the whole lot whilst it was still warm!

I began by mixing the meat, the egg, half of the onion, 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs, a little finely chopped parsle, salt and pepper in a bowl. Don't worry, I soon realized that this bowl was a bit too small, lol!

I then added more breadcrumbs as well as some grated Grana cheese, until the meat was of the proper consistency to form into little balls.


I kept mine small, just 2 bites to each on and managed to get 10 from that small amount of meat... Pretty good, as if I had made a burger... It would still have been all gone!

I fried the meatballs in a non stick pan with no added oil or fat, until they were nice and brown on the outside.


I then added the beans, the remaining onion, salt and pepper and fried them together for 2-3 minutes. I then deglazed the pan with enough boiling water to cover the base, put the lid on top and let them steam for 3-4 minutes. I then gave them a little toss and stir and let them continue cooking for 2-3 minutes more.


After that time, the beans were half done and the water had evaporated away or been soaked up into the beans and the meatballs respectively... Which can only have been a good thing of course!

I then added the tomatoes and another touch of water, popped on the lid for a further 4-5 minutes... And that was all!


All they needed was a generous sprinkle of parsley and marjoram to give a bit of fresh flavor as well as color... And you can bet that dinner was served in a hurry!


Of course an extra sprinkle of Grana can't hurt, can it? Hehe! Go ahead... Enjoy it!

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