2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 28 oz. diced tomatoes or 3 cups peeled, diced fresh tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the quinoa with ½ cup of water in a small saucepan, let it cool.
Preheat the oven to 425F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, quinoa, parsley, onion and the seasonings, form into meatballs and place on the baking sheet, bake until they are cooked and browned, almost charred around the edges. While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce; finely chop the onion, celery and garlic in a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, sauté the vegetables until tender and start to take on a light colour, add the tomatoes and the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and let it simmer over low heat until thickened. Serve the meatballs with the dipping sauce on the side or add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for a few minutes or so right before serving.