- December 2020
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 1 hour 30 min, plus chilling
Donal Skehan’s indulgent Italian-American slow-baked meatballs, with a rich tomato sauce and melting mozzarella, will liven up the week. Make them tonight!
Or, try this versatile baked meatballs recipe, with smoke-scented chipotle and polenta.
For more of Donal’s recipes, visit donalskehan.com.
- 26.2g fat (11.1g saturated)
- 28.8g protein
- 14.8g carbs (6.9g sugars)
- 2.7g fibre
- 1.4g salt
For the meatballs
- 250g British beef mince
- 250g outdoor reared pork mince
- 100g pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 60ml buttermilk
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
- 45g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
For the tomato sauce
- Olive oil for frying
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 700ml passata
- 75ml dry red wine
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 125g mozzarella ball, sliced
You’ll also need
- Large ovenproof frying pan or shallow hob-safe casserole
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Season with salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
- Form golf-ball-size meatballs by rolling the mixture in your hands, then transfer to a large baking tray. Keep a small bowl of cold water to dip your hands in to prevent things from getting too sticky. Repeat with the remaining mixture, cover and leave in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Put the frying pan/casserole over a medium-high heat and add a glug of olive oil. If all the meatballs don’t fit in the pan, fry half the meatballs until browned on all sides (8-10 minutes), then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. If doing two batches, wipe out the pan with kitchen paper, add another glug of oil and fry the remaining batch.
- Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. For the tomato sauce, drain any excess oil from the pan and put back on a low heat. Add the garlic and slowly simmer for a minute until just golden but not browned.
- Pour in the passata and red wine and stir in. Add the dried oregano, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper. Bring to a steady simmer and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes before returning the meatballs to the pan and gently turning to coat them in the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the oven.
- Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, turn up the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7, dot the meatballs with the mozzarella and a little extra parmesan, then return to the oven.
- Serve the baked meatballs with spaghetti cooked in a pan of boiling water until tender but still with some bite, and sprinkle generously with grated parmesan.
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