Beef and pesto baked meatballs

My new favorite easy peasy lemon squeezy recipe! Instead of fresh sourdough breadcrumbs I did use (biscuit) rusk. In Dutch: beschuit. Just a couple, I just crumbled them. The texture of the meatballs after cooking is so soft and moist, it really melts on your tongue. Try it! I am sure the kids will love it too. -enjoy-
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

2½ cups (175g) fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
¼ cup (60ml) milk
600g beef mince
½ cup (40g) finely grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons basil pesto
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2½ cups (625ml) tomato puree (passata)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon caster sugar
200g bocconcini*, torn

*bocconcini are small mozzarella cheeses the size of an egg. Like other mozzarellas, they are semi-soft, white and rindless unripened mild cheeses which originated in Naples and were once made only from milk of water buffaloes.

METHOD

Preheat oven to 240°C. Heat a large, heavy-based ovenproof saucepan in the oven for 15 minutes.
While the pan is heating, place 1½ cups (105g) of the breadcrumbs and the milk in a large bowl. Mix to combine and set aside for 5 minutes to soak.
Add the mince, Parmesan, pesto, salt and pepper, and mix well to combine. Shape ¼-cups of the mixture into balls.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Add the oil and meatballs, return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Add the tomato puree, garlic and sugar and top with the Bocconcini and remaining breadcrumbs. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until golden and the sauce has reduced. Sprinkle with pepper to serve.

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