Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

12:12 am on 28 June 2008

This is a good midweek meal, served atop a mound of fluffy potato puree. Serve broccoli or beans on the side.

Ready in 35 minutes.

(Serves 4-6 - makes 18-20 meatballs)


  • Tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 x 400g cans Italian-style tomatoes, mashed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbsp milk
  • 750g minced beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • oil for frying



Tomato sauce

Put onion in a saucepan with the olive oil and cook gently until transparent and tender. Add tomatoes and salt and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, stirring often, or until thick and pulpy. Stir through parsley.


1. Put breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and pour on the milk. Leave to soften for 10 minutes.

2. Put mince meat in a large bowl and add garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and parsley. Add soaked breadcrumbs, then whip everything together by hand.

3. Shape into 18-20 balls. Cover and refrigerate balls if making ahead, but bring them to room temperature before cooking.

4.Fry meatballs in hot oil until golden brown and nearly cooked through. Add to tomato sauce as they are done. Cook gently for 10 minutes, partially covered with a lid, and serve with potato mash and broccoli or green beans.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

Find a Recipe

or browse by title