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Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

This is one of those quick, comforting, homemade suppers that should be taken to the sofa with a glass of red wine.

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: less than 30 minutes
    •    Cook time: 30 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 6


For the Meatballs:

    •   2 tbsp olive oil
    •   150g/5oz onion, finely chopped
    •   1 clove garlic, crushed
    •   900g/2lb beef mince
    •   2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs, such as marjoram or 1 tbsp rosemary
    •   1 free-range egg, beaten
    •   3 tbsp olive oil
    •   salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Tomato Sauce:

    •   3 tbsp olive oil
    •   110g/4oz onion, sliced
    •   1 garlic clove, crushed
    •   150g/5¼oz mozzarella, grated
    •   1 tsp caster surgar
    •   2 x 400g cans tomatoes


  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy stainless steel saucepan over a gentle heat and add the onion and garlic. Cover and sweat for four minutes, until soft and a little golden. Allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl, mix the minced beef with the cold sweated onion and garlic. Add the herbs and the beaten egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  3. Fry a tiny bit to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Divide the mixture into approximately 24 round balls. Cover the meatballs and refrigerate until required.
  4. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a stainless steel saucepan.
  5. Add the sliced onion and the crushed garlic, toss until coated, cover, and sweat on a gentle heat until soft and pale golden.
  6. Slice the canned tomatoes and add, with all the juice, to the onion mixture.
  7. Season the contents with sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper.
  8. Cook the tomatoes uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until the tomato softens (while this is cooking make the meatballs).
  9. Heat a frying pan and cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes in about three tablespoons of olive oil.
  10. When they are cooked, put them into an ovenproof dish with the tomato sauce and top with the grated mozzarella. Place under a preheated grill until the cheese has melted.
  11. Serve with spaghetti.

This great family recipe is thanks to BBC Recipes at


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