Little Meatballs with Parmesan Garlic Rice

When you cook meals for one, tasks that might otherwise be labor-intensive, like mixing and rolling meatballs, are easier to do. These little  meatballs simmered in a savory tomato sauce and served over a simple Parmesan garlic rice are an easy way to get a comfort-food fix without a  lot  of work.



  • Meatballs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces (115 g) ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Sauce
  • 1/4 cup (38 g) finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) finely chopped carrot
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup (235 ml) beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Rice
  • 1 cup (235 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (53 g) long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (11 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. To make the meatballs, combine the egg, bread crumbs, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in  a medium-size bowl. Add the beef and use your hands to mix it all together until it’s just combined. Form meatballs with 1  tablespoon (15 g) of  the beef for each ball.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a 3½-quart (3-L) saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown them on one side, about 2  minutes. Turn the meatballs and brown on the other side. Transfer the meatballs to a clean plate.

  3. To make the sauce, add the onion to the pan and cook until they start to soften,  2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and stir, scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock, salt, bay leaf and fresh thyme and stir to combine. Bring the stock to a simmer and place the meatballs in the sauce. Adjust the heat to low, cover the pan with the lid slightly askew and simmer the meatballs.

  4. To make the rice, bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the rice and garlic and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to  low. Cook until it’s tender, about  20  minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain off any excess water. Stir in the cream and butter until melted, add the cheese and stir. Sprinkle with the parsley. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.

  5. Uncover the meatballs and adjust the heat to medium to bring the sauce to a strong simmer. Cook it for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Remove the bay leaf and serve the meatballs over the rice.


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