My Greek Meatballs — Human Impact on Forest Fires

The Mediterranean region has been facing the devastating impact of frequent forest fires, and Greece is no exception. These fires pose significant threats to both the environment and human communities. During my expatriate period in Rome, I learned from a Finnish man — who was a forest fire specialist in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations — that a staggering 90% of forest fires are caused by humans. This statistic highlights the crucial role that human behaviour plays in the occurrence and severity of these devastating fires. 

As I had lamb meat and leftover rice in the fridge, I decided to make Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce for dinner.

Ingredients for the meatballs:

  • Minced lamb meat, 300g
  • Leftover rice, 1.5 dl
  • Medium egg, 1 pc
  • Black pepper, 1 tsp
  • Dried oregano, 1 tsp
  • Salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Form meatballs with a diameter of 3-4 cm.
  3. Cover the balls with breadcrumbs and gently pat until fully coated.
  4. Lightly flatten them for even cooking.
  5. Fry on a pan with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 tsp of chilli flakes, and two chopped new onions, turning occasionally.
  6. Add chopped fresh mint to enhance the flavours.

Ingredients for the tomato sauce:

  • Crushed garlic, 2 cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp
  • Leftover grilled red bell pepper, finely chopped, 1 pc
  • Passata di pomodoro (tomato puree), 500g
  • Concentrated tomato paste, 2 tbsp
  • Water, 1/2 dl
  • Kalamata olives, 15-20 pcs
  • Mint, oregano, salt, and black pepper for seasoning


  1. Sauté the crushed garlic, then add tomato paste, chopped bell pepper, and passata di pomodoro.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer, mixing occasionally, for about 12-15 minutes.
  3. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and continue to simmer for 20 minutes on medium-low heat with a lid on. Be sure to mix every now and then to avoid burning.
  4. Serve the meatballs on their own or with toasted/grilled bread. Enjoy!

#HomeAloneDinner #GreekCuisine #MeatballRecipe #TomatoSauce #MediterraneanFlavors

Let's unite in our efforts to prevent human-caused forest fires. By respecting and protecting our natural environment, we can make a significant difference in preserving our precious forests for future generations.