Pork meatballs in tomato sauce

This recipe was given to me by a friend, I have no idea where she got it from but between the two of us we have managed to tweak it to suit our own tastes. It makes enough for a meal for 4, served with spaghetti, and is a nice cheap midweek meal. Feel free to use whatever meat you choose- I used pork, the original recipe was beef and my friend used a mix of veal and pork.


6 tbsp milk

1 slice firm white bread, crusts removed

500g minced meat- I used a good quality, feee range pork

1/2 onion, very finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1 medium egg

a pinch of nutmeg

1/2 tsp dry oregano

20g freshly grated Parmesan

olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

polenta for coating the meatballs

2 x 400g tins good quality cherry tomatoes in juice

1 tsp castor sugar

Fresh basil to serve



Put the milk and the torn bread in a small pan and bring gently to the boil. Mash until well blended. Set aside to cool.

Place the following in mixing bowl: meat, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, Parmesan, nutmeg and oregano. Add the cooled bread and milk, season and mix until well combined.

Pour some polenta onto a large flat dish or plate.

Gently, without squeezing, roll small spoonfuls of the meat mix into round balls approximately an inch diameter. Lightly coat each ball in polenta and set aside ready to cook.

Choose a lidded frying pan big enough to hold all the meatballs in one layer. Cover the base of the pan generously in olive oil and heat very gently until a drop of water starts to sizzle in it. Don’t overheat the oil as it will burn.

Place half the meatballs in the pan and cook gently, turning all the time until well browned. Remove to  a warm plate and then repeat with the other half.

Wipe the remaining  oil from the pan, return to the heat and add the tomatoes, sugar and plenty of seasoning. Bring gently to a simmer then add all the meatballs to the pan, turn them to coat in the tomato and pop the lid on. Continue to cook for 25 minutes, turning the meatballs gently every now and then to check they are cooking evenly.

Add a good handful of chopped basil to the pan, stir and serve.