Homemade meatballs with tomato sauce

Saturday 20 February 2010

My second recipe of this blog it's also from my mum, although I include now some variations.
How to do meatballs was the second thing my mum teached me (after cooking "pasta a la bolognesa"). Although I'm not Italian, as you can see these recipes are really common in the whole Mediterranean area.

The recipe that I'm explaining it's quite easy to do, after you do it a first time. You can use any meat you prefer: chicken, beef, pork... My mum always did it with both chicken and turkey. I, in Ireland, use normally Irish beef that has really good quality, but this time I used pork instead. A friend told me that the original one (the Italian one) mixes beef + pork.

Here we go:

DIFFICULTY: Easy/Intermediate

CALORIES: Depending of the kind of meat and the sauce, I would say this one had 500-600 KCal per person.

INGREDIENTS: (2 persons + leftovers)


400-500 gr of mince meat (choose: pork/beef/chicken/ chicken + turkey/ pork + beef)
1 or 2 eggs
Breadcrumbs (just a bit)
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
A handful of pinenuts
Parlsey (better fresh than dry)
Flour (just a bit)
Olive oil (*I use instead Low fat Oil Spray to fry the meat balls)
Salt and pepper

1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced or into chunks
Can of chopped tomatoes (+ 1 dessert spoof of sugar + 1 salt) or tomato puree or passata
Olive oil
Tabasco (Optional)


Let's prepare the meatballs first:

In a big bowl mix the mince meat add the eggs (I used 1 egg for 400 g of meat, depends how much meat you have or if it's too dry then you can use more eggs).
Add salt and pepper.
Add the breadcrums, until you feel that is a consistent doug. You can use a wooden spoon to mix it but it's much better to do it with you hands, so you feel the texture.
Add the garlic, pinenuts and parsley, and mix again.

My trick: I know that the doug is ready whenever I can do a consistent ball (giant meatball!)

Prepare small balls (smaller than golf balls) as it's easier to cook them, and you'll have more too :)

Pass all the balls through flour (although you can do it just right before you add them in the pan).

The meatballs, uncooked

Whenever you have all the meatballs ready to add to the pan, I recommend you to begin to do the sauce:
Dice the onion and the red pepper.
With a bit of olive oil, fry the onion first, and after 2-3 min then add the pepper. Add a bit of salt and leave it frying at a low heat.

Fry the meatballs:
Sprinkle another pan with olive oil or low fat spray.
Pass the meatballs by flour (if you haven't done it yet) and cook them in batches (normally I do 2 batches), at a medium-high heat.
When a batch of meatballs are cooked I reserve them in a sauce pan with kitchen paper on the base - so it sucks the rest of oil-, and cover with a lid to keep it warm (no need to put it on the heat).

When you are almost finishing the last batch of meatballs, go back to the sauce and add the tomato puree or the chopped tomatoes can (if using natural chopped tomatoes, remember to add salt and sugar to neutralise the sourness of the tomato). Increase the heat to medium-high.
I like to add now some drops of tabasco so it tastes a bit nicer, but it's up to you. ^_^

When all the meatballs are cooked add them to the sauce. Finally cook all together for 5 min. The meatballs are ready to serve!

**LOW FAT VERSION**: If you are in a strict low fat diet, you still can do this recipe. I just recommend you some small variations in this case:
- Just use 1 egg, or only the white of the eggs
- Don't use pinenuts.
- Don't pass the meatballs trough the flour.
- Instead of frying them appart, cook them in the sauce.
- For the sauce, use a low fat spray or cook the onion and pepper with white wine instead of oil.

The day I cooked the meatballs I accompained them with a side salad made with: lettuce, carrot, orange (mandarines), raisins and sunflower seeds.

But the best way to eat the meatballs is with a crunchy bagette, so you can dunk the bread into the lovely sauce! Mmmmm...

Bon profit! Enjoy!

Mamaaa! I cooked meatballs the other day!


Sir William Temple said...

Collons, quines mandonguilles! Però no són res comparat amb els "mejunjes destroyer" que em faig jo...

Sir William Temple said...

Però què està passant aquí??!! Que porto un mes i mig menjant mandonguilles!! Però canvia de recepta collons!!!

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