Meatballs with Spaghetti

These meatballs are just so versatile. They are also delicious served in a rich meat gravy with mashed potatoes, or try American style and stuff the leftover meatballs and tomato sauce into a roll.


  • 225g lean minced beef
  • 225g minced pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablesp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablesp. olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablesp. tomato purée
  • 500ml bottle passata (Italian sieved tomatoes)
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 25g mature hard cheese, finely grated (optional)

Get the kids involved

The kids love getting messy so give them the job of tipping the meatball ingredients into the bowl and mixing them together with their hands before rolling into meatballs

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Place the minced beef and pork in a bowl with the egg, parsley and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper and using your hands give everything a good mix. 

Step 2

Using slightly damp hands, make about 18-20 even-sized balls. Arrange on a flat baking sheet, drizzle over a little olive oil to lightly coat and chill for an hour if time allows.

Step 3

Heat half the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and celery for about 5 minutes until lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and chilli, if using, and cook for another minute, stirring.

Step 4

Add the tomato purée and passata and simmer for a few minutes until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 5

Heat the rest of the olive oil in a deep-sided frying pan and cook the meatballs for 5-6 minutes until almost cooked through and nicely browned.

Step 6

Pour in the sauce and simmer gently for another 8-10 minutes until reduced and thickened.

Step 7

Meanwhile, plunge the spaghetti into a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 8-10 minutes until tender but still with a little bite, as the Italians say ‘al dente’. Drain well and return to the pan and then add a few ladlefuls of the tomato sauce to coat.

Step 8

Divide among pasta bowls and spoon the meatballs with the rest of the tomato sauce on top. Scatter over the cheese and a little chopped parsley.