A classic recipe for meatballs needn’t be something reserved for the best Italian chefs. Italian meatballs are packed with fresh and clean flavours of herbs and just a hint of seasoning but the real key to an amazing recipe for meatballs is the sauce.
In many families in Italy, the base sauce for any meat dish such as meatballs and spaghetti is a closely guarded secret which is handed down through the generations. For good reason, the perfect tomato base sauce is something which is integral to finding that ideal Italian flavour. Thankfully however, you do not need to wait for the best recipe for meatballs because I am happy to provide it to you below.
As with many forms of cooking, this recipe is actually very easy and as a result provides natural and fresh flavours to your meatballs and spagetti. The sauce can be made in advance (recommended) and left to marinate it its flavours. Simply make up a batch, and leave in the fridge for up to 3 days. Meat it through well before serving. This meatballs recipe will become a firm family favourite not just for the family but also for mom and dad given it really is simple but amazingly tasty!
The Meat Cooking Expert Recipe for Meatballs
This recipe for meatballs serves 4 people.
Making the Italian meatballs
1. Finely chop a medium to large sized onion and one clove of garlic (crushed or finely chopped). Heat a frying pan with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and gently fry the onion and garlic over a low heat until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. Once the onions are cool, mix the cooked onions with 500g of ground beef. Generously season with sea salt and pepper. Take small handfuls of the ground beef mixture and make into small balls about the size of a ping pong ball (wet your hands to make it easier). Once you have formed the meatballs place them into the fridge to firm up.
Before we cook them, lets;
Make the recipe for meatballs sauce (can be done in advance)
1. Finely chop a medium to large sized onion and 2 finely chopped (or crushed) garlic cloves.
2. Fry the onion/garlic over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil for no more than 1-2 minutes.
3. Then add two 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes (don’t scrimp on this – the best tomatoes will make a big difference).
4. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to taste and mix through.
5. Next, add a splash (2 x teaspoons) of good quality Balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of tomato puree and mix well.
6. Finally chop finely some fresh basil or a teaspoon of dried and allow to simmer gently.
Now place a pan of slightly salted water on the stove and bring to the boil ready for our spaghetti.
Cook the Meatballs
Using a large heavy set frying pan (I use this large skillet which is excellent for this and many other jobs in the Kitchen) and gently fry the meatballs in a splash of olive oil for a good 10-15 minutes turning frequently.
Cook the Spaghetti
By now your water should be boiling (put a dash of olive oil in the water, this will stop the spaghetti from sticking and also help it to retain its structure) so place in enough spaghetti for everyone, turn down the heat to a simmer and place the lid on loosely.
Prepare your Meatball Sauce (optional)
Now that your sauce has been simmering nicely, I prefer to have a thick and smooth Italian meatball sauce but this is entirely optional. One of the most used implements in my kitchen is this Cuisinart hand blender, this makes for smoothing out base tomato sauce an absolute breeze. Simply give your meatball sauce a quick blast with the hand blender and your sauce will instantly be smooth and silky.
Now the best bit!
Simply drain your now cooked spaghetti, place in a nice pasta bowl and place several meatballs and finish will lashings of authentic italian meatball sauce. Grate a little parmesan cheese over the top and serve!
This really is a truly amazing recipe for meatballs and one which you will return to again and again – enjoy!