Home-made meatballs in Napoletana sauce

January 29, 2024 (Last Updated: January 26, 2024)
Home-made meatballs in Napoletana sauce

These home-made meatballs in Napoletana sauce are always a hit!

Home-made meatballs in Napoletana sauce

Serves: 4
Total Time: 1 hr



  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 5 sprigs fresh basil
  • 12g (1 tbsp) white sugar
  • 6g (1 tsp) salt

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and grated
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 2g (1 tsp) ground coriander
  • 2g (1 tsp) hot
  • English mustard
  • 8g (1 tbsp) tomato sauce
  • 12g (3 tbsp) fresh parsley, roughly chopped + extra, to garnish
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 100g Parmesan/Grana Padano, grated
  • fresh wholewheat spaghetti cooked according to packaging instructions, to serve (optional)



For the Napoletana sauce, place the 3 minced garlic cloves and the roughly chopped onion, along with the remaining sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat until the tomatoes start to break down, about 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth. Set aside.


For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the 2 crushed garlic cloves and the grated onion, along with the remaining meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, knead the mixture until well combined. Use a large tablespoon to scoop dollops of the mixture. Roll each spoonful between the palms of your hands to form a ball. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used.


Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the meatballs to an ovenproof skillet. Pour the Napoletana sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan/Grana Padano. Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs are cooked, about 30 minutes.


Remove from oven and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with wholewheat spaghetti, if desired.

ALSO SEE: Cheesy meatball sandwich recipe

Cheesy meatball sandwich recipe

Recipe and styling by Sarah Dall


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