Italian meatballs in tomato sauce

    4 hours 30 min

    This dish takes a little while to make, but the results are really worth it. Homemade pork and beef meatballs are simmered in a rich and delicious tomato sauce. Serve with pasta.

    102 people made this

    Serves: 20 

    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2.5kg passata
    • 685g tomato puree
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
    • 900g minced beef
    • 450g minced pork
    • 110g dry breadcrumbs
    • 80g grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:4hr  ›  Ready in:4hr30min 

    1. In a large pot mix together garlic, passata, tomato puree, parsley and basil. Bring sauce to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer.
    2. In a large bowl mix together the minced beef, minced pork, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic granules and parsley. Shape into balls the size of a child's fist. In a frying pan, fry meatballs in hot olive oil until brown. Add to sauce mixture. Simmer over low heat for four hours.

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (46)


    I first made and reviewed this in January 2007, and I have made many, many times since. It is our absolute favorite meatball and sauce recipe. However...I do not like this made with tomato sauce, and I also bake my meatballs for a few minutes to brown rather than fry. I use crushed or ground tomatoes, and I always add chopped onion. Sometimes I add chopped roasted red peppers or carrots for a little sweetness if my tomatoes are particuarly acidic. Leftover sauce, makes a great pizza sauce. We used it on the Brick-oven pizza from this site (another favorite of ours), and it's wonderful--try adding thin slices of the meatballs to the pizza before popping in the oven--fabulous! We sometimes double the meatball recipe and make meatball sandwiches. It's also fantastic in lasagna. We love this sauce and the meatballs, too.  -  20 Jan 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I really love these meatballs, although I don't make them exactly as the recipe says. Since I'm only cooking for two, I only use 1 lb of ground beef and omit the pork all together. I use 1/3 cup each of bread crumbs/parmesan cheese. This makes plenty for 2. I follow the recipe for the tomato sauce exactly, and it always comes out great. I've made this recipe many times. I've served it over pasta, I've tweaked the recipe slightly to make it a "sweet and sour" meatball dish, and I've also made meatball subs out of it (french loaf cut in half with the middle scooped out, toasted under the broiler until just a little "crunchy", then slice the meatballs in half and lay on the bread, spoon a little sauce over all, add mozzarella cheese on top, stick back under the broiler until melted and viola!). Really versatile, tasty recipe that I will continue to use. Thank you for sharing!  -  19 Feb 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I used this recipe for the meatballs only and made the Best Marinara Sauce Yet to go along with them. They turned out really tasty. I used all ground pork and 1 large link of hot italian sausage. (Hubby used all of the ground beef the night before in his burgers)! I also added some grated Romano cheese along with the parmesan and a dash of salt and pepper. I baked my meatballs at 350 for about half and hour rather than pan-frying them. I was able to drain off quite a bit of oil. I let them simmer in the sauce for a while and they gave off a real "meaty" taste which we all enjoyed. Thanks Joiamia, this was good.  -  24 Apr 2003  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)