Ultimate meatballs with spaghetti

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From: Market Kitchen

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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.46 / 5 (156 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
40 min

Ultimate meatballs with spaghetti is a dish inspired by The Godfather, Fergus O'Sullivan recreates Clemenza's recipe


1. For the sauce: heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.

2. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, stock, sugar and tomato purée. Leave to simmer gently until the meatballs are ready to go in.

3. For the meatballs: soak the bread in the milk until it is completely soft, squeeze dry and break into the smallest pieces possible.

4. Put in a bowl and mix in the beef, pork, cheese, herbs, onion, garlic, egg and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and mix together, breaking up any clumps of meat with a fork.

5. Dust your hands with flour and roll the mixture into ping pong-sized balls.

6. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs until brown and slightly crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

7. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir through the basil and serve over spaghetti.


For the Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 x 400 g plum tomatoes
  • 125 ml red wine
  • 125 ml chicken or beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp basil

For the meatballs

  • 1 thick slice stale white bread, crusts removed
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 300 g minced beef
  • 300 g minced pork
  • 100 g pecorino cheese
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • flour, for dusting
  • oil, for frying
  • cooked spaghetti, to serve

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Latest Comment


The best meatball recipe by far - always works perfectly

aiessa aiessa  Posted 02 Oct 2012 2:48 PM

i had never cooked the beef ball before..but will try and hope that it would taste best.

sonamC39648 sonamC39648  Posted 09 Aug 2011 10:31 AM

Gorgeous. All 3 kids loved it (which is a feat in itself) and so did I and I'm not the greatest fan of Italian food usually. 5 stars.

badwolf3 badwolf3  Posted 31 May 2011 5:50 PM

Was realy delicious, but I used parmesan cheese instead.

LouiseG45137 LouiseG45137 Posted 22 May 2011 6:53 AM

i cook my meat balls with pork and beef mince picarino chease and the sauce i use tomatoes red wine and vedge with a small amount of brown sugar i am goint to try yours

molly23 molly23 Posted 04 Apr 2011 7:45 PM

im glad that they got different kinds of meatballs cause i love surval kinds.

bobbyH33318 bobbyH33318 Posted 18 Mar 2011 4:47 PM

Absolutely brilliant! Didn't have the cheese but the instructions were clear and the food was great. Thanks!

BruceL34260 BruceL34260 Posted 02 Feb 2011 7:34 PM

never cooked meatballs before forgot to fry the onions first but it was first class,thanks.

timJ16090 timJ16090 Posted 25 Nov 2010 12:01 AM

just made this for the in laws so needless to say was slightly nervous but it came out perfect, only problem was there wasnt enough for seconds!!

foridaK60733 foridaK60733 Posted 06 Mar 2010 10:07 PM

I have made lots of different meatball recipes but have always been disappointed as they are normally dry and/or rubbery. But these were simply delicious and juicy, and the sauce was perfect, however I did add more stock than was suggested. I would definitely recommend these and will be cooking them no doubt over and over again.

MichelleH48160 MichelleH48160 Posted 24 Jan 2010 4:23 PM

first time i've made meatballs, easy to follow and very tasty. i did miss out the egg by mistake but the meatballs did stay together. will defo cook again

dominiqueN91422 dominiqueN91422 Posted 22 Jul 2009 5:14 PM

this is how my mother used to make them .except omitting the nutmeg. i must cook this dish soon

dogman mont dogman mont Posted 29 Jun 2009 2:22 PM

Just like Mamma used to make....

Flambe1 Flambe1 Posted 21 May 2009 11:34 AM

My sons favourite dish and he's not even Italian!

RonP78683 RonP78683 Posted 17 May 2009 9:45 AM