I've thought about this long and hard, and I'm pretty confident in saying that prior to last week, I had never made a meatball in my life.
Somewhere along the line H1 became the king of meatballs, so there was really never any need for me to turn my hand to them, because hey – I came with my very own meatball maker. Before that I didn't eat meat. Before that I didn't cook.
H1 and I have agreed that one of the few good things about being apart from each other like this is the additional independence it's foisted upon us*. It's so easy to get into patterns where you always take care of certain things and your partner always takes care of other certain things, but when your very own meatball maker is thousands of kilometres away and you want meatballs, you have no choice but to cook them yourself.
So cook them I did!
I used H1's basic recipe, which includes sultanas and toasted pine nuts, then added panko for extra interest and mozzarella for extra cheese (no point pretending it was for anything worthier). The rest was just mince; H1 usually browns onions first then includes them, but I put them in the sauce instead.
After browning the meatballs in a deep-sided pan I added half a chopped onion and two cloves of finely diced garlic, then once they were lightly browned, mixed in a little tomato puree, a tin of chopped tomatoes, and some salt, pepper and dried chilli flakes. I then left it to simmer for a good 20-30 minutes to cook the meatballs through and let the sauce get good and rich.
While the meatballs were simmering I made some kale chips to go with for something green; kale, salt, pepper, a little olive oil and parmesan (for extra cheese).
What felt like years later, the meatballs were ready and they were delicious. I'm not sure the panko added as much as I was anticipating but the mozzarella definitely did. In future I will politely request that H1 adds this to his recipe also. I suppose I could just make them myself, even when he's home, but why would I do that when I'll have my very own meatball maker again?
*Coincidentally, this is also one of the worst things. Sometimes I don't want additional independence, I just want stuff dealt with!