Italian meatballs in a marinara tomato sauce

My delicious take on meatballs in a tomato marinara sauce! I much prefer other pasta such as rigatoni to spaghetti as it holds much more flavour. After watching ‘the chef show’ on Netflix I adapted my recipe! I blend the onions and garlic for the meatball mixture to give moisture and bake them in the oven. You can pan fry the meatballs too but I find baking them on a low heat to start with makes them more moist and less hassle. Enjoy!

◦ For the meatballs: (serves 4)

  • 500g mince (you can use beef, lamb, soya, or mix of beef and pork- I used lamb today)
  • 1 small onion & 4 cloves of garlic blended with 1tbsp water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 handful of breadcrumbs (I blitzed up 1 slice of brown bread)
  • 1 handful of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 pack of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper, 1 tsp sugar

◦ For the sauce:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g tins of tomatoes (Poplo brand is the best for a tomato sauce) or 1 x 680g jar of tomato passata (tinned tomatoes make the dish more rustic, however use passata if you want a thicker sauce)
  • Splash of red wine (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 pack of fresh basil, torn
  • Salt, pepper, sugar – to taste
  • Pasta of your choice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees c.
  2. Start by making the meatballs. Combine all the ingredients together for this and mix with your hands until well mixed. I usually cook a little bit of mixture in a pan for taste.

3. Shape the mince into balls and place on a baking tray with some olive oil.

4. Bake in the oven at 150 degrees C for 20 mins then increase to 200 degrees C for 10 minutes.

5. Now put the pasta of your choice on the boil and cook according to packet instructions. Once done season with a little butter, salt and pepper.

6. To make the sauce, fry the garlic and chilli in some olive oil.

7. Then add the onion and fry until soft.

8. Then add your tinned tomatoes or tomato passata.

9. Add in the wine, herbs and seasoning.

10. Cook on a simmer for 15 minutes until rich and tasty.

11. By now the meatballs and pasta should be done so add it all together and top with Parmesan.

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