Greek meatballs in tomato sauce (Soutsoukakia)

Griekse gehaktballetjes in tomatensaus – Soutsoukakia


1 kg ground beef
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch flat parsley, chopped fine
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 slices of bread, crusts removed and soaked in water
Tomato sauce:
1 kg tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
salt & pepper to taste

Mix the meat, onion, garlic, eggs, spices, parsley and olive oil in a large bowl. Squeeze the water out of bread and add it to the rest, mixing well. Place in refrigerator for about ½ hour while you make the tomato sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer about 20 min. Add the tomato paste, sugar, salt & pepper and allow to simmer, adding water if necessary to make enough sauce to cover the meatballs. When tomatoes are not in season, you can also use a commercially prepared tomato sauce.
Preheat oven to 180 °C. Oil a baking dish. Make elongated, sausage-shaped meat balls and place them side by side in the oven dish. Cover with the tomato sauce and bake for 35-45 minutes until done. Serve with rice or potatoes, and/or with a vegetable dish.