Italian Meatballs


For the meatballs

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 14cup milk
  • 12cup breadcrumbs
  • 12tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan), freshly grated
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 24 oz / 700 g tomato passata, though a tin of chopped tomatoes is just as good
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 3 tsp dried Italian herb mix (basil, basil, thyme, oregano)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnish
  • Pasta/Crusty Bread (Optional – To serve)


  1. To make the meatballs: Allow the milk to soak into the breadcrumbs (drain any if required).
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl by hand.
  3. Use your bare hands for best results.
  4. Roll meatballs out, to desired size – golf ball works for me.
  5. Heat 1½ tbsp olive oil in a large non stick fry pan over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and brown all over – about 5 minutes.
  6. When they are browned but NOT cooked through, carefully transfer them to a plate.
  7. Heat the olive oil in the frying pan you used earlier.
  8. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.
  9. Add the remaining Sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to  a medium/low so it simmers gently rather than splattering everywhere. – no one likes a messy shirt 😉
  10. Carefully transfer the meatballs and any juices into the Sauce, and allow to cook for 10 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally. Adjust Sauce salt and pepper to taste.
  11. While the meatballs are cooking, cook your pasta if using.
  12. Serve the meatballs on pasta, garnished with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley if using or crusty bread.


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