Meatballs with creamed basil and parmesan spinach

Ingredients to serve 4

For the meatballs (makes 12-16 balls)

500g minced pork
1 onion, grated
1 small courgette, grated
30g rye crackers, ground into breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1 large egg, beaten
Half a teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
60ml vegetable oil
150ml vegetable stock

For the creamed spinach

750g big-leaved fresh spinach, washed
100g butter
50g plain flour
300ml vegetable stock
50ml white wine
50ml whole milk
20g fresh basil, finely chopped
30g parmesan, finely grated
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the pork in a mixing bowl with the grated onion and courgette. Give this a really good mash with your fists. Mix the ground rye crackers into the pork, along with the dill seeds, the beaten egg and some seasoning. Combine all the ingredients really well with your hands.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Fashion the mixture into balls in your palms, flatten them slightly and place on a plate ready for browning. Heat the vegetable oil in a wide frying pan until it is really hot. Turn down the temperature slightly and add the meatballs a few at a time. Fry in batches until golden on both sides, about 2-4 minutes, then transfer to a baking dish. Pour over the stock so that it comes halfway up the sides of the meatballs. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Place the spinach leaves in a large pan on a low heat and fit a lid. Steam until it has halved in size and remove to a sieve. To make the béchamel, heat the butter on a low heat in a medium saucepan. When it has melted, add the flour. Using a whisk, beat to combine and cook out the flour for a couple of minutes.

Gradually pour in the vegetable stock, whisking all the time to avoid lumps. Then add the white wine and milk, still whisking. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Squeeze out the water from the spinach and chop finely. Add to the sauce with the basil, parmesan and seasoning. Serve the meatballs with the creamed spinach on the side and some plain new potatoes.

Taken from 'Supper With Rosie' by Rosie Lovell (Kyle Books, £16.99).

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