Italian Meatballs never tasted so good! Made in a delicious Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce. Serve over pasta or rice or like the Italians, as a Main Dish.
Meatballs have always been one of my favourite meals, from my Mom’s Meatballs to a made in Italy version.
Coming to Italy I learned to eat my Pasta first and my meatballs as a main dish, served with a side dish with a cooked veggie, such as Sauteed Chicory or even Peas.
To tell the truth I still love a bowl of Spaghetti and Meatballs sprinkled with some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.
What is the difference between Grana Padano and Reggiano Parmesan Cheese?
- Parmigiano Reggiano is produced totally without additives, even natural additives are prohibited, Grana Padano on the other hand uses a protein extract from egg whites to control the fermentation.
- Cows are fed only grass and hay for producing Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Reggiano is stamped at one year and Grana Padano is stamped at 9 months.
- Reggiano is produced in the Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and, in parts, of Mantua and Bologna. Whereas Grana is produced in as many as 33 different provinces.
What are the ingredients in Italian Meatballs?
- ground beef
- and or ground pork
- Parmesan Cheese usually Reggiano
- freshly chopped Italian parsley
- salt and pepper
- chopped garlic
- fresh bread crumbs either soaked in milk or water
- all gently mixed by hand and rolled into the size of golf balls
I made these Italian Meatballs with a mixture of Pork and Beef which was different for me since I usually only use beef. A personal preference that it is all.
But I have to say this Pepper and Tomato Sauce was the perfect compliment to these meatballs. I served them the Italian way as a main dish, but there is plenty of sauce for the addition of Pasta.
How to Make Meatballs
When making meatballs be sure to include eggs and breadcrumbs in the mix, these are what holds (binds) the meatballs together.
But too much can cause the meatballs to fall apart when cooking and too little will keep them from binding together when mixed.
Be sure to soak your bread in a little milk this helps keep the meatballs tender once they are cooked.
I always mix my meatball mixture by hand and roll into the size of golfballs, don’t worry about them being not perfectly round, that’s the joy of Italian cooking, it’s Rustic cooking at it’s best.
Italian Meatballs in a Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
More Delicious Italian Dinner Ideas
Baked Italian Breaded Pork Chops
Italian Stuffed Flank Steak – Rolle
No matter how you decide to eat your meatballs with pasta or without, be sure to include a couple of slices of Italian Crusty bread to soak up all that sauce. Buon Appetito!
Italian Meatballs in a Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
- 5.3 ounces ground beef* (155 grams)
- 5.3 ounces ground pork* (155 grams)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (40 grams)
- 1-2 slices bread (without the crust) (1 ounce / 30 grams / softened in a little milk)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 dashes black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
*If you prefer just ground beef then omit the pork and double the beef.
PEPPER TOMATO SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1 3/4 cups Tomato puree (passata) (400 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1-2 pinches salt
- 1-2 dashes black pepper or hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup water
- In a medium bowl mix together the ground beef, pork, egg, parmesan cheese, bread (squeeze out an excess milk and break into crumb size pieces), salt, pepper and parsley. Form the mixture into 12 equal size meatballs.
- In a medium pan add 1 tablespoon of oil and brown the meatballs, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from heat.
PEPPER TOMATO SAUCE
- While the meatballs are browning start the sauce, in a large sauce pan add the 2 tablespoon of oil, minced garlic, shallot and sliced peppers (about 1/4 inch wide and 1 inch long or smaller if you prefer). Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat, then add puree, oregano, basil, salt and pepper (or hot pepper flakes) and water, mix to combine. Add the browned meatballs (remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and add to the pan), gently cover with the sauce. Cover* the pan and cook on low / medium until sauce thickens and meatballs are cooked. Approximately 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Vicky Mwaura says
Can I make and brown the meatballs off pervious day?
Hi Vicky yes you could make the meatballs the day before and refrigerate until using. I hope you enjoy it.
I took a risk and made this with IMPOSSIBLE BURGER (vegetarian). I followed your recipe exactly, except for the meat. This was so simple and so amazing. I tripled the recipe so there were some leftovers. The following day, we had these with melted provolone on Portuguese rolls. Thank you for sharing this.
Hi Robert, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed the recipe. And the melted provolone on the buns sounds amazing. Take care.
Hello, when you say tomato purée do you mean tomato passata? Tomato purée in the uk is a concentrated paste and not something I would imagine using 400ml of! Just want to check?
Hi Lina, yes it is Pasta, some many different names for one thing. 🙂 Have a great weekend.
jocie s says
sooo tasty. I didn’t have enough bread so I replaced half with breadcrumbs. I added a lot of chili flakes, cause that’s my business. Props to you, this is delicious and I will continue to use it my whole life.
Hi Jocie, thanks so glad you enjoyed it and will continue to enjoy it! Have a great week.
This recipe is so good that even my husband, who does not like pasta in any form, was going on and on about how flavorful it was and how tender the meatballs were. We’ll definitely be making this again. I did make a couple of changes to the original recipe. I doubled the amount of meat because the mixture was not coming together with the amounts listed. I also used fresh herbs from my garden rather than dried. I highly recommend you try this recipe. Its so simple to make and the end results are rave worthy.
Hi Maggie, thanks so much, so glad it was enjoyed! I don’t think I know anyone that doesn’t like pasta :).
Angela Sciurca says
This is exactly the way I make mine. My family is 100% Italian and this is my son’s favorite meal. Of course, anything Italian is his favorite meal. He is 64 yrs. old. It never ends.I love you recipes. They remind me of my grandmothers.
Hi Angela, thanks so much and yes it never ends! Nothing like traditional Italian.
Thank you so much for sharing recipes.Great blog!!!
Thanks so Mahima, have a great weekend.
I should try this in my kitchen where I have two handsome Italians, lol
Haha you should! Have a great weekend.
Sounds awesome. YUM!!!!!