Italian Spaghetti Sauce With Meatballs

I’m going to be trying the below recipe for dinner, so thought I’d post it here on my blog in the absence of anything better. Yes, I know I have posted a pasta meatball recipe previously. However, I’m trying to find a recipe that suits me, isn’t too difficult to throw together, and also tastes great. Plus, my son loves pasta, and as I only cook for the two of us, I like to create dishes I know that he will like instead of slaving over something he will turn his nose up at.
So here goes…


1 pound lean ground beef                  1 cup fresh bread crumbs                   1 tablespoon dried parsley                  1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese                                                  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder                1 egg, beaten 


3/4 cup chopped onion                        5 cloves garlic, minced                      1/4 cup olive oil                                     2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes                                                 2 teaspoons salt                                     1 teaspoon white sugar                       1 bay leaf                                                 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste           3/4 teaspoon dried basil                   1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 


Prep – 20 m

Cook – 2 h

Ready In – 2 h 20 m

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 90 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more. Serve with cooked pasta.


Sunday Dinner stile Italiano

Okay, so this may not be the Italian way of doing things. But it is Tesco’s take on cooking with pasta, so I will pretend we are being all Italian!

Let me just add – although I would love a traditional English roast dinner on a Sunday, I have never actually attempted to cook a roast before. That’s right, in 40 years, I have NEVER COOKED A ROAST DINNER.

In my defence, I have spent a large proportion of my adult life living alone, or with only Ryan, so it has never seemed appropriate for one/two of us. I have eaten many roast dinners cooked by my family though, who are all far better in the kitchen than I could ever hope to be. So, to avoid any threat of food poisoning, I generally opt for an easier route.

Plus, Ryan loves pasta. So that is what I will be making. 

As you can see from the recipe below, it is by no means a difficult dish to prepare. For a normal person, anyway. I am not normal, and am certainly no domestic goddess! 

So here goes!

(Before I begin, I will be completely honest with you. I won’t be preparing the meatballs myself – I have bought the fresh, ready-made variety. When I’m feeling a little braver, I may attempt meatballs from scratch. But I’m pretty busy at work tomorrow, so I can’t risk a sick day!)

(Also, my version is highly unlikely going to look like the example above. That one was cooked by an expert!)


6 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped.         

2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 x 680g bottle tomato passata

50ml (2fl oz) dry white wine (optional)

For the meatballs:

500g (1lb) lean minced beef

50g (2oz) Parmesan, grated

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

30g (1oz) handful fresh white breadcrumbs

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley plus extra to serve

2 tbsp olive oil

400g (13oz) fresh tagliatelle

grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


1. First make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the passata and white wine, if using, and set aside. Simmer the sauce for 12-15 minutes until it has thickened.

2. Next, make the meatballs. In a large bowl, mix the minced beef, Parmesan, garlic, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, parsleytogether, season then mould into 12 meatballs (roughly 50g each).

3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat, add the meatballs and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until browned all over. Heat the sauce and stir the meatballs into the pan. Cover and simmer, over medium heat, for a further 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

4. While the meatballs cook, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the tagilatele for 2-3 minutes until al dente. Drain and serve with the tomato meatballs, sprinkled with parsley and extra Parmesan.

For the full recipe,