Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from Around the World: Italian meatballs in tomato pasta sauce

Mom has recovered from the stomach lining infection she had and is eating much better. On Saturday, I made Italian meatballs in tomato pasta sauce which she enjoyed very much. On Sunday, Terence made his signature dish, chicken risotto, which is always delicious.

My sister has not yet sold her house here in Johannesburg so she will be commuting to Cape Town at 6am every Monday morning and coming home on Thursday evening. I don’t envy her; those early flights to Cape Town require getting up at 4am which is not something I like doing. It makes me tired for the whole day if I get up before 5am.

Today, I am sharing the recipe for these delicious Italian meatballs and my homemade tomato pasta sauce recipe.


Pasta sauce

3.2 kg Roma tomatoes, skinned (I skin them by putting them in a large dish and covering them with boiling hot water. I leave them for about 5 minutes and usually the skin comes off easily. If not, I repeat the performance. The second hot water dunking always works.

15 ml sweet basil

15 ml white sugar

15 ml parsley

15 ml garlic flakes

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped.

Italian meat balls

2.2 kgs ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

3 eggs

5 slices white bread soaked in 2 cups (500 ml) milk

1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)

15 ml garlic flakes

15 ml parsley

2 medium onions, grated


Pasta sauce

Skin the tomatoes and chop into eighths. In a large saucepan, gently fry the onion until it is clear. Add the salt, pepper, sugar garlic, basil, and parsley. Add the chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil and allow to reduce for 20 minutes. Turn down and simmer for 2 hours.

Here is the video of the tomato pasta sauce reducing:

Italian meatballs

In a large basin, break up the minced meat. Place the bread in the milk to soak, add the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk the three eggs. Once the bread is soft, break it into small pieces using a fork. Pour into the mince and mix. Add the egg, onion, garlic, parsley, and cheese. Mix well, I use my hands.

Shape the meat into balls. Heat oil in a frying pan and shallow fry all the meatballs until they are 80% cooked.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer gently for a further 20 minutes.

Serve with the pasta of your choice.

This is the meatballs frying. If you want to know why they are so huge, you’ll have to ask the Chartered Accounted what kind of golf balls he uses, as his dimensions for a golf ball and mine are quite different.


82 thoughts on “Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from Around the World: Italian meatballs in tomato pasta sauce

  1. You may know of the Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Well, she wrote a cookbook too with her recipes from Cross Creek, Florida. I’m pretty sure she had one for meatballs. Recipes make me hungry. Thanks for sharing yours, Robbie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad you mom is feeling better. I can see why she enjoyed the spaghetti with meatballs. I wish I had you for my neighbour. I would camp out at you place at dinner time!!! Are you thinking of creating a cookbook?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m pleased to hear about your mother, Robbie, very good news indeed. You must all be so relieved. Your recipes are always delicious and this one is no exception–delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m pleased to hear your Mom is recovered, Robbie. I don’t eat meat now, but meatballs are one of the things I could cook more or less successfully (I’m no great cook), so I’ll have to keep this recipe for future use. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good news about your mum, Robbie. Your meatballs look tasty, but are very large! I use Passatta instead of fresh tomatoes, and I don’t add sugar. Otherwise, I do cook something similar.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry to hear that your mom wasn’t feeling well, Robbie. It sounds like she’s doing much better. You’re a wonderful daughter and I know she was in good hands. Your meatballs look great. I hardly ever make meatballs, so you’ve intrigued me. I’m going to give them a try. Thanks for the recipe. And take good care of yourself while caring for others. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad for recovery… and hoping less travel for your sister…

    I tend to not mix dairy and meat. I also like smaller meatballs.
    I like to make turkey meatballs and freeze batches. I tend to make a different red sauce everytime since I rarely measure.
    I often take premade jar or can and then add whatever veggies I’ve got 🙂

    Cheers ~ Jules


  8. Love the meatball recipe Robbie. Similar to how I make them. My Italian friend taught me years ago that soaked bread made the meatballs so much more tender. I’m glad to hear your mom is on the mend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Debby, my mom is a good cook but she doesn’t like cooking. The difference is she had to cook every night for 40 years. I only cook on weekends. My mom was also on a much tighter budget so couldn’t experiment like I do.

        Liked by 1 person

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