14 May 2011

mouthwatering meatballs with pasta

So normally at the start of most posts, you'd expect to see a photo of the finished product first.  All plated and styled (professionally, or in my case not so professionally).

But these?  These perfectly (almost) round balls of meaty perfection had to be up first.  You just gotta look at them and you know.

They are very good.  I kid you not.

I used to make meatballs that somehow always turn out dry and crumbly, whatever the ingredients or method of cooking I used.  Then an ex-boyfriend made these based on his mother's recipe.

Bye-bye boyfriend and hel-lo yummy meatballs!  You're very welcome to stay please.

Now here's what makes these meatballs super yummy...

Don't worry about buying the more expensive Italian flat leaf parsley. Good 'ol regular (curly) parsley will do since they're going to get minced up anyways.

And then you want to add some of these.

Sultanas, or raisins - whatever rocks your boat and makes you happy.  But don't be tempted to leave these out though.  The dried fruit rehydrates during the cooking process and helps to keep the meatballs moist and contributes to the salty-sweet taste (a winning combination I tell you!).

Add all the other good things that make these the best meatballs you've ever had.  Spices, garlic...mmm...

Oh.  One thing though.  Don't go all super healthy and buy lean mince.  Meatballs need some fat.  Trust me.  It makes a difference.

Now we get to the best bit - mixing this up by hand and rolling it all up into these succulent meatballs studded with dried fruit and fresh herb.  Very therapeutic, this hand mixin and rollin business.

This time I made mine the size of large Jaffa balls.  Ummm...about 3cm in diameter.  Not that I'm wanting you to measure them.  But make'em big.  They're great with pasta and if you're making humongous ones, have them with mash - a marriage made in food heaven.

For charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and couldron bubble.
(MacBeth, William Shakespeare)

Optional: Repeating the chant above a few times as you're cooking your meatballs.  Just seems so appropriate, no?

Mouthwatering meatballs with wholemeal spaghetti.

Make a big pot of it 'cos the meatballs and sauce taste even better the next day.  Enjoy! :-)

Mouthwatering Meatballs
As I often cook by sight and taste when making savoury dishes, the measurements below are just a guide as I didn't really measure all the ingredients I used.  

500g-700g mince beef (lamb works well too)
3/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
1/2 cup sultanas/raisins, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp oil (use something light like rice bran oil, a vegetable oil or extra light olive oil)
Salt & Pepper
More oil for frying

1 onion, chopped fine (but not minced)
1/2 cup chicken/beef stock
1/2 cup of red wine (optional)
1 tsp dried oregano (use wild Italian dried oregano if you can find it)
2 cans of Roma (Italian) tomatoes
Salt & Pepper

Fresh or dried pasta
Fresh parmesan

  1. Put all the Meatballs ingredients in a large bowl, plus salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mix it all up with your hands, just until all the ingredients are mixed through the mince.  Take care not to over mix, or else your meatballs will be tough.
  3. Heat some oil in a deep frypan and fry the meatballs over medium heat until brown and bottom of the pan starts to stick and burn a wee bit.  Scoop up the browned meatballs into a bowl - use a slotted spoon/scoop if you have one, so that you can drain some of the oil from the meatballs back into the frypan.
  4. Fry the onions in the remaining oil in the frypan for a minute or two until soft.
  5. Add the stock and scrap the bottom of the pan to dissolve the 'burnt' bits.  (These burnt bits will give your sauce a certain richness and deep colour).
  6. If you're using red wine, add it at this point and cook until the wine has been reduced by half.
  7. Then add the meatballs back into the frypan, and if there are any juices in the bowl, add those too.
  8. Add the dried oregano and both cans of tomatoes.  Stir gently to mix - stirring too vigorously may break up the meatballs.
  9. Taste and add more salt and pepper if required.
  10. Bring to boil and then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens and darkens.  Stir occasionally.
  11. Cook the pasta of your choice in boiling salted water.
  12. Serve the meatballs sauce over the pasta with freshly grated parmesan.


  1. I suddenly feel the need to eat... Great work, very slurp!

  2. Thanks Y4D and Nigel for the lovely comments. These meatballs are definitely slurp worthy! :0

  3. Looks fantastic. Great pics, and they really hooked me in because I could basically see how easy the recipe is from the pics. Then I read more. Now you've left me with plans to make meatballs!

  4. Cheers Jared! Glad you survived the apocalypse. Meatballs - great way to celebrate being alive. Happy meatballing! :-)


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