Cooking doesn't have to be hard.

That's the mantra for renowned culinary artist Valentine Kitamura, founder of the Vancouver-based Tartine & Maple cooking club.

"I'm trying to demystify [cooking]," she told host Sheryl MacKay on CBC's North by Northwest. "I love seeing people at the end of my classes feeling confident that they can do it again."

Having grown up within a family of cooks in France, Kitamura learned how to bring savoury flavours from simple recipes. She's currently teaching a class that features her own take on meatballs.

"It's something that doesn't take a lot of work to put together," she said.  "And if you do a huge quantity, it's very worth it."

"You'll be good to go for a few weeks."

Ingredients: 10 servings

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 carrots finely shredded
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan or romano cheese grated
  • 1⁄4 cup parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 2 cups stale crumbled bread (preferably Italian or French bread) 
  • 1⁄2 cup milk warm
  • 1 tbsp beef "Better than Bouillon" paste or 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp pepper

Method: Combine beef, veal, or meat of choice, in a large bowl. Use a food processor, if available, to shred carrots, garlic, basil and parsley. Add garlic, cheese, carrots, parsley, basil, salt and pepper to the meat.

Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture.

Warm milk in microwave and stir in the bouillon. Add the eggs, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce to the milk. Slowly add to the mixture. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape if rolled into meatballs.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Shape meat into ball shapes. Place on baking trays covered with parchment paper.

Cook for about 20 minutes, or until golden outside and cooked all through (should be at least 160 F internal temperature).

Serve with marinara sauce and pasta, or just as is.

Note: This recipe makes about 30 meatballs, about three per person. You can use lean ground beef, or a mixture of different meats (pork, lamb, turkey, etc.)