Another classic from the Neapolitan kitchen, the meatballs in tomato sauce is a dish loved by both children and adults. Easy and quick to prepare, it is usually served for Sunday lunch instead of the more time-consuming ragù.

Traditionally, the pasta is served first. The delectable sauce is then scooped with a piece of bread, a custom called “scarpetta” (little shoe). The meatballs are served as a second course, together with homemade French fries.

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 500gr of minced beef or veal
  • 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 40gr of grated parmesan cheese
  • 40gr of grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 40gr of pine nuts
  • 40gr of raisins
  • 400gr of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 320gr of spaghetti
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
No meatballs would be complete without pasta
No meatballs would be complete without pasta
 

Method:

  1. Put the meat in a bowl, together with the breadcrumbs, the parsley, 2 chopped garlic cloves, the eggs, the grated cheeses, the raisins, the pine nuts, 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Mix well, preferably with you hands, until the ingredients are blended: the mixture has to be firm but not too dry. If required, add some more breadcrumbs or olive oil to obtain the desired consistence.
  3. Taking a little mixture at the time, form the meat into balls roughly the size of a small clementine.
  4. In a large pan, pour three tbsp of olive oil. Chop three garlic cloves and add them to the pan, let it cook on very slow heat for 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and raise the heat to medium.
  5. When the sauce starts to simmer, add the meatballs, lower the heat, cover and let cook for about 30 minutes, flipping the meatballs halfway through the cooking, and delicately stirring every now and then, so not to break them.
  6. In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instruction. Drain the pasta.
  7. Remove the meatballs from the tomato sauce, and place them in a plate. Mix the spaghetti with the tomato sauce, turn the heat to medium-high, and sauté the pasta for a couple of minutes. Serve immediately with the meatballs, generously sprinkled with grated parmesan.

Best served with a Merlot.

Why not try some of Silvana's other authentic Italian recipes including Aubergine Parmigiana , Penne pasta with peppers and the simple but tasty pasta with garlic and oil .