My Delicious (Un)Authentic Italin Meatballs

It’s fair to say that my meatballs are a family favourite because everyone of us loves them. I know, I’m blowing that trumpet of mine again here but they really are delicious – and so easy to make.

Before I give you the “recipe” you have to understand I’ve been making these for a long time and I just do it without really thinking so bear with the lack of definitive quantities. This easily feeds our family of six and you can get about 25-30 meatballs out of it depending on how big you make them.

What you’re going to need for the meatballs
  • 750g lean minced beed (we used 5% fat)
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 50g (ish) fined grated strong cheddar cheese (if you want authenticity use Parmesan)
  • 2tsp powdered garlic
  • Salt and ground black pepper
What you’ll need for the sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I actually used coconut oil today as we were out of olive oil)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 150g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2tsp lazy garlic (or if you prefer 2 cloves finely chopped)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 500ml boxes pasata (apparently in the US you call is tomato puree but that’s something else here in the UK)
  • 1tsp cinamon
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • 2tbsp honey
  • salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • Grated strong cheddar or parmesan

Okay so now to get it made. First things first, make the meatballs a couple of hours in advance so you can chill them in the fridge before cooking.

To make the meatballs

  • Throw all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine with your hands. Resist the temptation to use a food processor as I find this make rubbish meatballs, anyway the sensation is ace when you squelch it between your fingers.
  • Form the mixture into balls about 1 inch (2.5cm) in diameter (this should make about 28).
  • Put in a container and whack in the fridge for an hour or so.


To make the sauce

    • Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large pan then add the garlic. Fry gently for a few seconds then add the onions and cook for a minute or so until softened.
    • Add the mushroom and cook until softened.

Add the chopped tomatoes and pasata and combine. Simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Add the honey, basil and cinnamon and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Take your meatballs from the fridge and fry them in a a pan (or hot plate as I used) until browned all over.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes or so.
  • Serve on you choice of pasta,today we had shells (aka conchiglie), and top with the cheese.

And there you have it, a blooming marvellous, tasty yet unauthentic Italian meatballs meal for six!

Let me know if you try this out.

Thanks for reading.

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