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Italian Meatballs

Preparation Time
20 mins
Cooking Time
35 mins
Calories Per Serving


For the meatballs

700g pork mince
Good handful breadcrumbs
Salt & pepper
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or sage, oregano, basil)
1 anchovy, very finely chopped
Shallot or small onion, finely chopped
1 small egg, beaten
Flour, for coating

For the Sauce

Clove garlic, crushed
Tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
Dash of red wine
Salt & pepper


  1. Fry the onions in a little oil until soft, then set aside to cool.
  2. Place the mince in a large bowl. Add the salt and pepper, Italian seasoning and paprika to the breadcrumbs, then add to the mince and mix thoroughly with a fork. Add the fried onions and anchovy and mix again. Lastly, pour in the beaten egg and mix through again. At this stage if the mixture is very wet, add another handful of breadcrumbs. It should all stick together easily but not be too wet.
  3. Shake some flour into a wide flat bowl (I use a pasta plate). Start to roll the mince in your hands, shaping into little walnut-sized balls. Drop these into the flour and shake the bowl to ensure they are all coated in flour. You might need to transfer half of these to another bowl once it fills up. You don't want them packed together really tightly or they will stick together. Cover with cling-film and leave in the fridge for half an hour to let them firm up.
  4. In the mean time make the sauce. Add the clove of garlic to a tin of chopped tomatoes and puree the lot with a handheld blender. No hassle if you don’t have one. You can either leave the tomatoes as they are, or use 400ml of passata instead. I just like the texture of the blended, chopped ones! Stick the tomato sauce in a large saucepan and season with salt and pepper, add the tomato puree, sugar and a generous dash of red wine. Again, not necessary but adds a bit of flavour. Put it on a low heat and let it simmer while you cook the meatballs.
  5. To cook the meatballs, heat some oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides. They won’t cook through at this stage, but you just want them sealed. It should take about 10 minutes to get them all brown. Add them to the sauce and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking.
  6. Serve over spaghetti with Parmesan cheese!