Simple meatballs

In a sweet tomato & chilli sauce

Simple meatballs

Simple meatballs

Serves Serves 4
Time Cooks In1 hour 50 minutes
DifficultySuper easy
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 306 15%
  • Fat 9.6g 14%
  • Saturates 3.3g 17%
  • Sugars 7.9g 9%
  • Salt 1.48g 25%
  • Protein 37.5g 75%
  • Carbs 19.1g 7%
  • Fibre 3.1g -
Of an adult's reference intake
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  • 1 small onion
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • olive oil
  • 2 x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes
  • 2 slices of stale bread
  • 250 g lean minced beef or higher-welfare veal
  • 250 g lean minced higher-welfare pork
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • 1 sprig of fresh sage
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 large handful of garden peas
  • pecorino cheese
  • a few sprigs of fresh marjoram , optional
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Tap For Ingredients


  1. Peel and finely chop the onion, then trim and pound the chilli in a pestle and mortar (or finely chop, if you prefer).
  2. Heat a splash of oil in a pan over a low heat, add the onion and fry gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium, then add the chilli and tomatoes. Half-fill one of the tomato tins with water, give it a swirl and tip into the pan. Season lightly with sea salt and black pepper and cook gently for 30 minutes, then break up the tomatoes.
  4. Whiz the bread (remove the crusts, if you like) in a food processor until fine, then tip into a large bowl. Add the meat, nutmeg, lemon zest, egg yolk and a good pinch of seasoning. Pick, finely chop and add the sage and rosemary, then mix and scrunch together. Shape into little balls, around the size of a gobstopper.
  5. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the meatballs cook until browned over – be careful not to break them up.
  6. Once browned, add the meatballs to the tomato sauce, stir carefully to cover, and braise gently for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.
  7. Serve each portion scattered with a few raw peas, shavings of pecorino and picked marjoram (if using).