Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce Recipe

These moist, tender pork and veal meatballs are flavoured with bacon, basil and parmesan cheese. The meatballs are pan-fried, and then simmered in a tomato sauce. We like to serve them with fettuccine.

Serves about 5-6 people (makes 35 meatballs).

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon (20ml) oil
1 large onion (about 200g), peeled and very finely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
260g (1 cup) tomato passata
400g can diced tomatoes
125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
2 teaspoons (10g) brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

500g pork and veal mince (or 250g pork mince and 250g veal mince)
100g shortcut bacon, rind removed, very finely diced
100g (about 1 cup) grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried chopped basil leaves
40g (1/3 cup) packaged dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 teaspoons (15ml) oil, for pan-frying meatballs

Fresh or dried pasta of your choice (we use 400g dried fettuccine)
Chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley or basil), to serve
Grated or shaved parmesan cheese, to serve

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.

Remove half the onion mixture from the saucepan and set aside to cool to room temperature (this will be used in the meatballs). Leave the remaining onion mixture in the saucepan and continue with the sauce.

Add the passata, tomatoes, chicken stock, brown sugar, salt and pepper to the saucepan with the remaining onion mixture. Stir to combine.

Increase heat to high until the mixture boils and then reduce heat to low. Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes, or until thickened to a sauce consistency. © exclusivelyfood.com.au

Place pork and veal mince, bacon, parmesan cheese, dried basil, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper and reserved onion mixture in a large bowl.

Using you hands, mix ingredients together until well combined. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large, deep non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning often, for about 7 minutes, until browned. Remove meatballs from frying pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan and cook remaining meatballs. You may need to reduce the heat if the meatballs are browning too quickly (they may burn on the outside before they are cooked through).

Return the first batch of meatballs to the frying pan. Pour sauce over the meatballs.

Increase heat so the sauce comes to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a very large saucepan, cook pasta according to the directions on the packet. Drain cooked pasta and return it to the saucepan. Add the meatballs and sauce to the pasta and gently mix together.

Sprinkle the meatballs and pasta with fresh herbs and serve with parmesan cheese.
© www.exclusivelyfood.com.au


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering if you would recommend using fresh or packet parmesan cheese in your recipes?

24/10/08 4:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ladies,
I am wondering if the meatballs can be frozen. I have tried many of your recipes with tomato base but have never frozen anything.
This looks to be another great recipe.

24/10/08 9:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made this last night as an alternative to spaghetti, keeping in mind i am NOT a meatball fan as those i have tasted are bland and dry. These were just as the recipe said, moist, flavourful and a definite keeper, the sauce was a little tomatoey but overall a fabulous recipe. Also plan on making again to freeze, will just double the meatball recipe and make oodles of the scrumptious little things.

28/10/08 12:11 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

The only type of parmesan cheese that we wouldn't recommend is the type that can be kept at room temperature before opening.

The meatballs and sauce are suitable to freeze.

28/10/08 2:17 pm  
Blogger hobgoblin said...

hi thanks for ur recipes..i love them all because they're so simple yet so amazing. i think i did something wrong with the meatballs though bcoz they were a little dry? how can i make them more moist and make sure th emeat is well cooked?

31/10/08 2:14 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Hobgoblin

Did you use the ingredient quantities specified in the recipe?

5/11/08 10:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was wondering if this meatball sauce is similar to the meatball sauce at "SUBWAY"?? Because i want to know before i make it..



11/12/08 2:10 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Chefboy

Unfortunately, we can't advise you as we haven't tried the meatballs from Subway.

12/12/08 9:46 pm  
Blogger traceyleigh said...

Just made this tonight but used Chicken mince instead of veal and pork. It was absolutely delicious and worked fine with the chicken. I added some fresh torn basil to the dish a few minutes prior to serving as well.

15/12/08 10:17 pm  
Anonymous sam said...

Really , really yummy. I found it hard purchasing veal, so replaced it with premium beef mince. Next time i make them i'll make more sauce.Thanks for the recipes.

5/1/09 6:13 pm  
Blogger •´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Trish.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

we made it tonight - delicious

9/2/09 9:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Made this dish last night, it was gorgeous! My boyfriend commented before tasting it that the pasta and meatballs that he orders from restaurants is usually quite dry. Then he tasted it and loved it! Thanks for the lovely recipes!

1/3/09 10:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these are delicious.
Could you please do a recipe for burgers?

23/3/09 7:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to trying this recipe but before I do - what is tomato passata? I have never heard of it.

26/3/09 6:18 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Passata is made from sieved, crushed/pureed tomatoes. It is usually sold in glass bottles. You could substitute canned tomato puree or finely crushed canned tomatoes.

30/3/09 2:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found this sauce recipe to have with some left over homemade meatballs and it was delicious!! Highly recommend.

30/4/09 7:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made these tonight - SO good! Went to DJ's for the meat and it turned out fantastic. Instead of having the meatballs on pasta we made it in a sub roll with melted bocconcini. Love your site - always tasty treats. Thanks!

11/5/09 8:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made these for dinner tonight and they are soooooo good. Great recipe. Keep em coming :)

19/5/09 4:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes meatballs can be dry if you use a mince that has too little fat, like a super premium one? You really need a little bit of fat in the mince. I always get a nice piece of chuck steak from the butcher and do it in the food processor, with some of the fat left on.

they look great, cant wait to try them.

3/7/09 2:26 pm  
Blogger utterlycynical said...

I just tried this meatball recipe and they are good!!!!!

However, i did not have pork mince, so i put lamb mince instead and the mince was marinated the night before.

Haven't made the sauce yet but the meatballs are so good on their own.

i also added some grated carrot in it, jsut to have a bit of vege in them.


4/7/09 10:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents were over and my dad suggested I roll the meatballs in cornflake crumbs before cooking them...I did and they had a sensational crunch which worked really well with this recipe. Yum Yum!

11/7/09 4:15 pm  
Blogger ivory_kitten said...

delicious and moist and the bacon and cheese makes them soooo tasty. i used a can of diced tomatoes with basil and garlic and the whole bottle of passata, the sauce was deliciously rich.

the meatballs left an awful mess in my "non-stick" frypan though, i used a bit of oil but they still ended up getting stuck, i had the heat on medium-high, but also tried the 2nd batch on medium but they didn't get browned then, what am i doing wrong??

27/7/09 9:42 pm  
Anonymous Trecky said...

This is a fabulous recipe, a very tasty dish.
Thanks for a wonderful site.

30/8/09 8:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic! My husband couldnt stop raving about them. Thanks so much!
just a question, is it ok to make up raw meat balls in the morning and leave in the fridge during the day and only fry them up and make the sauce in the evening? Thanks again. 5 stars

5/10/09 4:23 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Yes, you could store the raw meatballs in the refrigerator during the day and cook them at night. We would probably store the mince mixture and roll the meatballs when ready to cook, but it should be fine to store the meatballs if placed in a single layer in a covered container.

8/10/09 7:11 pm  
Anonymous Dan said...

Just made this recipe and doubled all quantities.

The meatballs were great but I would make a few changes to the sauce.

All in all though a delicious recipe

3/5/10 6:45 pm  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Made this last night! Another great recipe from exclusively food. Thanks. I added some chopped red capsicum, mushrooms, basil, parsley and a splash of worcestershire sauce to the tomato sauce. So tasty!

5/5/10 9:13 am  
Blogger mammahippo said...

Another very tasty recipe! Thank you for sharing.

1/6/10 9:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These were beautiful..! the bacon flavour was delicious and the cheese was nice and melted and gooey! The sauce was a a little to tomatoey for me but overall it was a great recipe and i would definitely encourage you to make it!

1/9/10 9:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YUM! made this last night... super easy and super tasty. Much nicer than beef mince, and the flavour... WOW. So yummy & Moist. Highly recommended :-)

7/10/10 10:29 am  
Blogger JohnMich said...

Once again a great recipe but I only made the meatballs and flattened them a bit to make small patties.Flattened they cook quicker and stay juicier. For our taste the bacon flavour came through too strong. We will try again next time without bacon meat but use some bacon fat to keep them juicy as this is a very simple, good recipe.

16/11/11 9:47 am  
Blogger poonam said...

I made this last night and followed the recipe to the T, it turned out fabulous. This was my first attempt at meatballs and in fact, of a savoury dish from your website, I am a big fan! Love how precise the recipes are. Just one little thing, these are rich and so an occasional treat or me, can you put up a recipe without bacon and maybe less cheese? But nonetheless, big success :)

5/2/12 9:01 am  
Anonymous Jeanette said...

If I freeze the meatballs with the sauce do I cook them first?

7/2/12 5:54 am  
Blogger fone said...

I do a similar recipe but i actually drop the meatballs in raw into the simmering tomato sauce......cook for about 20mins and they come out delicious!

27/2/12 1:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make these all the time, really simple and delicious. Great recipe that can be easily adapted to whatever is in the fridge. Love it!

11/9/13 1:58 pm  

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