Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

Imagine yourself in a cosy Italian kitchen, the heart of the home, where family and friends gather to share stories and laughter. The aroma of simmering tomato sauce and sizzling meatballs fills the air, inviting everyone to come closer. This is the scene you create when you make these Italian meatballs from scratch.


  • 1lb ground beef (minimum 16% fat)
  • 1lb of ground pork
  • 2/3 cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 3 slices white bread (crusts removed, about 3 oz)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or marjoram)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup flour (for dusting)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (for frying)
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup carrots (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 28 oz tomatoes (crushed or whole, including juice, or 1 3/4 lb fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method of preparation:

In a small bowl, soak the bread slices in the milk until soft, then squeeze out the excess milk.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, soaked bread, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, salt, parsley, black pepper, oregano and minced garlic. Mix well but do not over-mix.

Shape the mixture into meatballs, dusting your hands with flour to prevent sticking. Roll the meatballs in the flour to coat lightly.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, then remove and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add more olive oil if necessary and sauté the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, basil and tomato paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the browned meatballs to the sauce. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve the meatballs with the sauce over the spaghetti or on their own with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and more grated Parmesan.

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