- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes with juice (800 g)
- 1 1/4 cups water (300 ml)
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano (15 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves (60 ml)
Warm the olive oil in a wide pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes to soften the onions. Keep an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t burn.
Add tomatoes with their juice, water, oregano and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes.
In two separate batches, pour the tomatoes and liquid into a blender and add the basil. Puree until very smooth. A high-powered blender will puree the soup so it has the same thin, silky texture of canned tomato soup. However, if the texture isn’t smooth enough for you, then strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer.
Add salt and pepper and additional fresh basil to taste.
Spicy Mini Meatballs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped (or 1/2 an onion, finely chopped)
- 1 pound ground beef (450 g)
- 1 pound ground pork (450 g)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (30 ml)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (60 ml)
- 2 teaspoons salt (10 ml)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (5 ml)
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (10 ml)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- Coconut oil, to brown meatballs
Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t burn.
Scrap the shallots, garlic and olive oil into a large mixing bowl. Add the ground meat, fresh herbs, salt and both types of pepper. Combine the ingredients with your hands.
Pour the eggs into the meat and knead the meat well to completely combine the egg. You can add a third egg if desired, but if the meat seems really wet then skip the third egg.
Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes. This helps the meat absorb the egg and become less wet.
Preheat the oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC)
Use a measuring teaspoon to scoop individual teaspoons of meat in rows on a sheet pan. Once the meat is all measured out, lightly oil your hands and roll and pat/shape each scoop of meat into a tiny meatball.
Heat an oven-proof skillet with a little bit of coconut oil over medium heat. Add as many meatballs as will fit in the pan and brown for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the meatballs, 5 to 7 minutes.
Or, transfer the browned meatballs to a sheet pan to bake and use the skillet to brown another batch.
Tip: The meatballs can be cooked entirely in the oven (without browning them in a pan first) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper but they tend to ooze out a little moisture and don’t look as nice.