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    Lina's Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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    Lina's Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

    • Preparation time: 55 minutes, plus overnight chilling
    • Cooking time: 140 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 15 minutes, plus overnight cooling 25 minutes

    Serves: 10


    • Meatballs
    • 100ml olive oil
    • 1kg spaghetti
    • 500g minced beef or pork, or a mixture
    • 250g fresh breadcrumbs
    • 6 medium eggs
    • 125g Parmesan, grated
    • 4-6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
    • 20g fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
    • Tomato Sauce
    • 6 x 400g tins chopped plum tomatoes
    • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
    • 125 ml olive oil
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 80g fresh basil, shredded
    • 3-4 cloves garlic


    1. Make the tomato sauce first. Place all the ingredients, reserving two thirds of the basil, into a very large saucepan (you'll need to fit the meatballs in here later) and bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 1-1½ hours. Allow to cool a little, then blend till smooth. Return to the pan and add half the remaining basil. If possible, chill overnight to allow the flavours to blend.
    2. Mix all the meatball ingredients in a bowl, by hand. Dampen your hands and roll the mixture into 3cm balls, placing them on a clean baking sheet. Place the sauce on a low heat. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and fry the meatballs in batches for about 15-20 minutes, turning until they are a deep golden all over. Transfer into the sauce and cook for 20 minutes more, stirring every now and then. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining basil and 2 tbsp of the oil you used to fry the meatballs.
    3. Cook the spaghetti until al dente (check the timings on the packet). Drain, return to the pan and stir half the sauce (but not the meatballs) into the cooked pasta and toss thoroughly. Spoon into bowls and serve with the meatballs and remaining sauce. Serve with a mountain of freshly grated Parmesan, bread and a crisp salad.

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    Drinks recommendation

    A sweet, tangy red would be ideal to go with this dish.


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