• If you’ve never had spaghetti and Italian meatballs with tomato sauce, you’ve missed out on a suppertime classic. And with this recipe, you’ll never go for store-bought meatballs again!

    Italian meatballs with tomato sauce

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 1 hr


    • 190ml (¾ cup) olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 100g pine nuts, roughly chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh basil or rosemary, roughly chopped
    • 10ml (2 tsp) fennel seeds, ground 250g ricotta
    • 90ml (1/3 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) Parmesan, freshly grated
    • zest of 1 large lemon
    • 1 large egg
    • 500g minced pork or beef
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Sauce

    • 2 x 410g tins Italian chopped tomatoes
    • 100ml wine
    • 20ml (4 tsp) fresh basil, chopped
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



    Heat half the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and pine nuts until the onion is soft and the pine nuts are light brown. Add the garlic, cook for a few more minutes and set aside.


    Place the herbs, fennel, ricotta, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, zest and egg in a bowl and add the mince. Add the onion mixture and season. Mix well to combine.


    To make the meatballs, roll about 50g of the mince mixture at a time into small balls. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and fry the meatballs until golden.


    To make the sauce, simmer the tomatoes, wine and basil on medium heat in a saucepan until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season, add the meatballs and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.


    Remove the meatball sauce from the heat and leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving with hot pasta of your choice.

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    Homemade tomato sauce for every occasion