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July 18, 2011

Meatballs are great, I love love love love love them! Meatballs are extremely adaptable, you can use different meats such as pork mince, season them with paprika, chilli and a variety of herbs. There is something very comforting when eating them. They’re certainly in my top 10 list of comfort foods as they’re not some fancy food and instead it’s a reliable, tasty wholesome dish.

Homemade meatballs ready to be chilled for 30 min before cooking

They make an excellent batch making recipe so you can make a tonne of them, freeze them for another time or cook them and eat later on. This is a good recipe to get your kids involved as they can help you shape the meatballs and they get to learn about cooking. If you are freezing meatballs, make sure you defrost them properly before cooking.

Tomato sauce simmering which will eventually reduce and thicken

I prefer to make meatballs using bread which has been presoaked in milk rather than the usual breadcrumbs. I think it gives a softer smoother texture. I stopped using egg to bind the meatballs as I found I didn’t need it. The milk in the bread makes the mixture sticky enough and meatballs hold their shape well during cooking. Also when you’re making meatballs, chop the onion and parsley very finely to give a better texture and season the mixture well.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did!

Magnificent meatballs with tomato sauce

Serves 4


500 g good quality beef mince

1 onion, very finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 medium slices of day old bread

Enough milk to soak the bread

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

salt and pepper for seasoning meatballs

Tomato sauce:

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

120 mL red wine

2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped oregano leaves

1-2 tbsp caster sugar

olive oil

basil leaves for garnish (optional)

  1. Soak the bread slices with enough milk to make them wet and soft.
  2. Add the mince, onion, garlic, cheese and parsley to a large bowl. Then add the bread to the bowl, ensure that you squeeze excess milk out. Break the bread up into very small pieces and mix everything together thoroughly. Season well with salt and pepper. You can test the seasoning out by frying a small patty of meatball mixture and tasting this. Adjust seasoning as required.
  3. Shape the mixture into balls (20-22 in total) using your hands to make them the size of a golf ball.  Lay the meatballs on a tray and cover with clingfilm. Chill for about 30 min to help them firm up.
  4. In a saute pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for about 5 min.
  5. Then add the oregano, red wine, 1 tbsp sugar and tomatoes and simmer for about 25 min to reduce the sauce.
  6. In a large frying pan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil and add the meatballs to the pan. Brown the meatballs for about 5 min on a medium heat, turning them using tongs.
  7. Using tongs, transfer meatballs to the tomato sauce, mix carefully into the sauce and simmer for 10 min. Taste the sauce and season with more sugar if needed. Season sauce with salt and pepper as required.
  8. Serve meatballs on freshly cooked spaghetti and garnish with basil leaves.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2011 2:07 am

    I love spaghetti and meatballs! This looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing!! Have you tried should Marcella Hazan’s simple tomato sauce! I think it would make a great base if you wanted to make your own bolognaise sauce. I did a post on it here: Please check it out and let me what you think! I’m new to blogging, and I love that there’s a foodie community. Please let me know if you have any advice 🙂

  2. July 20, 2011 10:15 pm

    Hi Kat, thanks for your lovely comment, the meatballs were very yummy and moreish, they certainly disappeared quickly! Yes, the tomato sauce does indeed make a very nice bolognaise sauce, love that it’s adaptable. There are many meatball recipes floating about so you have to try a few out and adapt it to your liking.



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