Usually I serve meatballs with spaghetti but I fancied a change today so I decided to base our meal on the traditional Moroccan/Tunisian dish, couscous. This was a dish thrown together with store cupboard basics and some things that I wanted to add weren't there so I made do without. It's very much a dish that you can adapt depending on what's in the fridge and the food cupboard though so feel free to tweak the recipe as you go !
Quick Meatball Couscous
a splash of olive oil
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
tin of chick peas
packet of beef meatballs
a generous squeeze of tomato puree or tomato-based pasta sauce
salt/garlic granules/ lemon pepper/Turkish chicken seasoning (or similar - Allspice or chilli flakes would do)
Start frying the meatballs in a frying pan in a little olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, garlic granules and something a bit spicy - we use chicken seasoning that we brought back from Turkey but anything would do.
In a separate pan, gently fry the onions and peppers in a little olive oil. (You could also add courgettes, garlic and aubergines.) When they are soft and fairly well cooked, add a tin of drained chickpeas and a couple of spoonfuls of tomato puree and stir well.
Remove the meatballs from the frying pan, drain them on some kitchen paper then add them to the other pan.
Flick the kettle on and boil some water. Following the instructions on the pack, cook the couscous. (As a rough guide, put equal amounts of boiling water and dry couscous in a large heatproof bowl, then wait for the water to be absorbed.)
Add a large knob of butter to the couscous and stir it in to melt it. Season with salt, garlic granules and any other spices you want. I wanted to add chopped dried apricots and/or raisins to the couscous but we didn't have any. (I blame it on Sophie's fridge cake !) This helps make it less dry and adds extra sweetness to the dish.
Serve the meatballs and vegetables on a bed of couscous.
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