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Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recipe

Recipe by 7 February 2010 One Comment
PinExt Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recipe

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cc Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recipe photo credit: Grumpy Chris

This is a pleasingly adaptable recipe that can be served straight, with vegetables and potatoes, or spooned over spaghetti in a more American-Italian style. Either way, I love meatballs in tomato sauce and am always inclined to make more than necessary – they’re good to pick at when cold too!

To serve over spaghetti, you should make half-size meatballs. Spoon them over spaghetti that has been tossed in a little lubricating olive oil, mounded up on individual plates, and pass around a bowl of freshly grated Parmesan.

Serves: 4 (or 6 with spaghetti)
Prep time: 15 to 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins


1 thick slice white bread
4 tablespoons milk
350 g (12 oz) lean minced beef or pork
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
½ teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons red wine or water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Remove the crusts from the bread. Tear the bread into small pieces, put it into a bowl with the milk and leave it to soften for 10 minutes. Add the minced beef or pork, half the parsley, half the garlic and salt and pepper. Mix well, kneading with your hands to break up the bread. Add just enough of the egg to bid the mixture without making it too sloppy to shape. Scoop up 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll into balls.

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a frying pan large enough to take all the meatballs in a single layer. Add the meatballs and fry briskly until browned all over. Now add tall the remaining ingredients to the pan, including the resy of the parsley and garlic. Stir gently to mix without breaking up the meatballs. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.

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  • Chris W

    I added two small spoons of sugar in without paying attention and it turned out fantastic!

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