Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

The success of authentic Italian sauce is in the slow cooking of the tomatoes. In this recipe we use canned whole plum (Italian) tomatoes which are picked at their peak of ripeness to capture the robust tomato flavour which results in a much richer flavour than using fresh tomatoes.


Cooking Methods

  • Braising
  • Frying

Prep Time

40 minutes

Cooking Time

45 minutes



    1 kg beef mince
    250 ml sliced white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces, crusts removed
    200 ml grated onion
    2 eggs
    90 ml finely chopped fresh parsley
    5 ml dried Italian Herb Mix (or Oreganum if you can’t find the mixed Italian)
    2 large cloves garlic, crushed (or 10 ml Food Lover’s Crushed Garlic)
    1 can Food Lover’s Chopped Tomatoes
    5 ml sugar
    10 ml Worcestershire Sauce
    salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    oil for frying
    flour for coating


    2 cans La Belinda Whole Italian Peeled Tomatoes
    15 ml Food Lover’s Signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    250 ml finely chopped onion
    10 ml Food Lover’s Crushed Garlic
    15 ml dried Italian Herb Mix
    2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) dried chilli flakes (optional)
    5 ml sugar, or to taste
    salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste



    Mix together all ingredients except oil.
    Form the mixture into golfball-sized meatballs by hand, taking care not to overwork the mixture. Working lightly, roll meatballs in flour to coat.
    Heat oil in frying pan and add meatballs in batches. Fry until browned and firm on the outside. It is not necessary to cook right through as they will still simmer with the sauce later.


    Pulse whole Italian peeled tomatoes with their juice in a food processor until chopped.
    Heat olive oil in a saucepan and lightly fry onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
    Add the remaining sauce ingredients.
    Bring to a simmer, then turn down to medium low so it bubbles gently.
    Carefully transfer the meatballs into the sauce. Simmer the meatballs for about 10 minutes, turning and stirring occasionally, working carefully so meatballs retain their shape. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little stock or water to thin.
    While the meatballs are cooking, cook your pasta of choice.


To Serve:
1 pack Riscossa or La Campagna Spaghetti, cooked per instructions on pack
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish

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