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The classic Italian family dish. A favourite with adults and children alike.


  1. Add a slug of olive oil to pan and saute onion on moderate heat for 5-10 mins until softened.
  2. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 mins. Turn off heat.
  3. Add minced beef steak to large bowl and fork through.
  4. Add freshly grated parmesan, cooked onion and garlic along with beaten egg.
  5. Mix through. (clean hands are best for this)
  6. Place meat mixture in fridge to chill for 10-15 mins.
  7. Meanwhile add another glug of olive to good sized pan on moderate heat and add garlic for 1-2 mins.
  8. Then add tins of chopped tomato and sugar.
  9. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 - 10 mins.
  10. Turn off heat and whizz to make smooth sauce using hand blender.
  11. Season to taste and add fresh basil. (You may have to add a touch more sugar at this stage if the sauce is a little bitter)
  12. Set aside.
  13. Remove meatball mixture from fridge and using clean hands form into bitesize spheres.
  14. Add 3rd slug of oil to shallow pan and brown meatballs all over on a moderate heat. This should only take a minute or so but it is best to do in batches.
  15. Place meatballs in ovenable dish and cover with tomato sauce.
  16. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven at 180C, Gas 4 for 30-35 mins.
  17. Serve with fresh spaghetti and green salad.

Gaynor's Tip: These are a great crowd pleaser with kids and adults alike. They can easily be made the day before. The recipe for the sauce was given to me by a friend from Naples who regularly makes it for her children.

Source: Resident Food Farmison Blogger Gaynor Mairs