Davina McCall's turkey meatballs with couscous and creamy tomato sauce recipe
Using some couscous in these meatballs makes them lovely and light – and you can serve the rest of the couscous alongside. Plus, if you have some tomato sauce ready in the fridge or freezer - it's super speedy too!
Ingredients Tomato sauce ingredients
2 onions, very finely diced
1⁄2 bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and finely chopped
4 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dried oregano sprig of fresh thyme
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
150g wholemeal couscous 2 tsp cinnamon
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 oranges
500g turkey mince (you could use chicken mince instead if you'd like)
1 onion, very nely chopped
Small bunches of parsley, mint and dill, finely chopped
500ml tomato sauce (as above)
100ml double cream
Method Tomato sauce method
1. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onions and fry them gently over a low to medium heat until they’re very soft and translucent – this will take at least 15 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
2. Pour in the tomatoes along with 500ml of water – use the water to rinse out the cans, then add it to the sauce to make sure you use every bit of the tomatoes. Add the bay, oregano and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to the boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pan, and leave to simmer for an hour. Stir regularly to make sure the sauce isn’t catching on the base of the pan.
3. Remove the lid and taste the sauce. If it is at all acidic, add a generous pinch of cinnamon – this will provide a natural sweetness so is a good alternative to sugar. Continue to simmer for another half hour to reduce the sauce.
4. Take the pan off the heat and fish out the bay leaf and the thyme – all the leaves from the sprig will have dropped off into the sauce. If not using the sauce immediately, leave it to cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge. It will keep for a week in the fridge or you can divide it into portions and pop them into the freezer.
1. First prepare the couscous. Put the couscous in a bowl with plenty of salt and pepper, a teaspoon of the cinnamon and the zest of one of the lemons. Add 100ml of hot water and the juice of one of the oranges. Leave the couscous to stand until all the water and juice has been absorbed, then fluff it up with a fork.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Put the chicken in a bowl and add 75g of the prepared couscous. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fry gently until it is very soft and translucent. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the onion to cool.
3. Add the cooled onion to the mince with half the herbs, the remaining lemon zest and the egg. Stir thoroughly to combine, then form the mixture into 16 balls. Place them on a large baking tray and bake them in the oven for 18–20 minutes.
4. When the meatballs are nearly ready, put the tomato sauce in a small saucepan with the remaining cinnamon and orange juice. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Check for seasoning and then stir in the cream. Heat the sauce through, making sure you don’t let it boil.
5. Stir most of the remaining herbs into the couscous, reserving a couple of tablespoons for the garnish. Remove the meatballs from the oven and serve them with couscous and the sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with the remaining herbs.
Recipe from Davina's Kitchen Favourites by Davina McCall