Chop one or two onions as finely as you can, and soften on a low heat in a small splash of olive oil.
Crush some garlic (I think about half a bulb is right) and add to the pan to soften.
Blend a tin of tomatoes (I use a wand blender, as less washing up), and then strain through a sieve into the pan, pushing it through with a spoon to remove the pips and any skin. (This just takes a couple of minutes but if you are short on time and effort, you could just pour the tin straight in and mash it up with the spoon, but I think this is better with a smooth sauce.)
Stir in a big pinch each of dried oregano and parsley, some black pepper and about half a teaspoon of sugar while you bring it to the boil. Stir in a squeeze of tomato purée (about 2-3 tsps) and let it simmer for about five minutes, and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
This can be made the day before and reheated, it also freezes well. (Although the sauce doesn't take long to make, reheating it is one less thing to sequence when also making meatballs and boiling spaghetti)
(I sometimes make this as a sauce to go with grilled chicken, roast or new potatoes and eg green beans/mange-touts/sugar-snaps)
As they are going into a tasty sauce, I make really lazy unseasoned meatballs in the microwave. This takes most of the fat out and you get meatballs which hold their shape in the sauce.
Divide a pound of minced beef into however many meatballs you want to make (I usually chop a slab of mince into quarters, half each quarter, and then split each piece into two to make 16 fair sized meatballs)
Place evenly on a microwaveable dish and microwave for two minutes (this will release a fair amount of fat from the mince, so don't use a shallow plate).
Turn them over (if some of the ones at the centre aren't as cooked, you might also want to swap them with ones at the edges) and cook for probably about another 30-60 seconds.
They should look brown and still be a bit springy. Don't over cook them in the microwave; they are going into a hot sauce and so will continue to cook.
When they are cooked, add to the sauce while you are waiting for the pasta to finish cooking.
(You can also pour the fat off and add any meat juices to the sauce if you like.)
You might also like Kofta curry
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