Recipe: Meatballs in tomato sauce


I used to be icky about touching raw meat. Believe it or not, when I was in charge of cooking meals for my housemates back during uni days, the meat would have to be prepared by my housemate and I’m in charge of cooking it (sorta like a sous chef and head chef LOL). I wasn’t a big meat eater then, so I was fine with not eating them regularly. But after my jaw surgery, I needed to have more protein to help recover quickly, so I started eating more meat (or broths). And I now really enjoy eating meat (oh no…), especially pork and beef.

Today’s recipe would be featuring my favorite meats – meatballs in tomato sauce. It is really easy to make, but time consuming as you have to cook the meatballs separately before adding the sauce. You may also use your favorite meats like chicken or turkey or even lamb, if you don’t take beef or pork for religious reasons. Or if you simply don’t like beef or pork.

Serves 5

  • 300g minced beef
  • 200g minced pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2  tsp of herbs (I used basil and oregano)
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs

If you’re like me and use frozen meats, rinse your meats briefly under running water. To the meat mixture, add the remaining ingredients and use your hands to mix it well. You may find the initial mixture crumbly but keep going, and the mixture will bind together.

Roll the meatballs (about 3cm in diameter), tossing the meatball between your hands to pack it firmly (it helps to get rid of the air within, so your meatball won’t crumble when cooking). Heat some olive oil in a pan and gently pan fry the meatballs, for about 2-3 minutes on each side. The meatballs should be around 75%-80% cooked (you will continue to cook them later). Set aside while you make your sauce.

For the sauce

  • 2 cans of tomato sauce (about 450g)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp herbs (basil and oregano)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In the same pan, heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and gently fry the onions (if using) over a gentle flame until softened before adding in minced garlic (garlic burns faster than onions, so you should always cook your onions first!). Add in the sliced button mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and fry till mushrooms are softened. Add the tomato sauce and the cooked meatballs. Simmer till sauce is reduced and meatballs are fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Add herbs, S&P to taste.

I served the meatballs with a side of quinoa and Japanese cucumber for greens and some crunch, but I reckon these will do great with pasta as well.

Edit 21 May: I tried these lovely meatballs on sandwich bread, and they taste amazing! Reminds me of a meatball sub from Subway. ^.^b