Italian meatballs in a red sauce
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5 from 2 votes

Italian Meatballs in a Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

Italian Meatballs never tasted so good! Made in a delicious Tomato and Pepper Sauce. Serve over pasta or like the Italians, as a Main Dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian meatballs, tomato sauce
Servings: 12 meatballs
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Rosemary Molloy / An Italian in my Kitchen



  • 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.


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic minced
    • 1 shallot minced
    • 1 red pepper sliced
    • 1 3/4 cups Tomato puree (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. 


    • 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!

    *Uncover after 20 minutes if sauce is still very thin and raise the temperature a little to cook and thicken the sauce.


      Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 17.5mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1.3mg