Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Recipe: Meatballs with Spaghetti and Fresh Tomato Sauce (Delia Smith)

Spaghetti and meatballs... a classic combination which is a favourite with children. In the United States, meatballs are commonly served with spaghetti as spaghetti and meatballs, a dish in Italian American cuisine, assimilated from the Italian immigrants from southern Italy in the early 19th century. According to Delia,  the main criteria for any meatball is that it should have a kind of melt-in-the-mouth lightness and not be heavy and bouncy.

I made the meatballs using minced pork, but you can also use minced beef or a mixture of both. I omitted the bacon on this occasion, since I didn't have time to go to the supermarket further away to get some (because sadly not all supermarkets here stock them). I have never added Parmesan cheese to any homemade meatballs before, but I really liked it - makes it so flavorful. The ingredients are mixed together, and then chilled for 30 minutes before being shaped into balls. You can get your children to help shape the meatballs - I assure you they will love it as it's like playing with PlayDoh!

Colorful meatball ingredients

The spaghetti is tossed in the homemade classic fresh tomato sauce, topped with a few meatballs, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes. Appetizing and delicious!

Both my children loved this pasta dish, just take a look at their precious faces, slurping up the delicious spaghetti. :)


Spaghetti with Meatballs and Fresh Tomato Sauce
Recipe adapted from Delia Smith
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Serves 4 (Makes 24-30 meatballs)

For the meatballs
225g minced pork (or beef)
1 tsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
95g mortadella or unsmoked bacon, finely chopped (I omitted)
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
75g white breadcrumbs without crusts, soaked in 2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
A pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

To cook and serve:
400g spaghetti
1 quantity Classic Fresh Tomato Sauce (click here for recipe)
1-2 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil, for frying
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
A few fresh basil leaves, torn
8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1. To make the meatballs, place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well using hands (wear disposable gloves if you like). Take walnut-sized pieces of the mixture and shape them into rounds – you should end up with 24-30 meatballs. Put them on a tray, cover with cling film and chill for about 30 minutes to firm up.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat and arrange half the meatballs in the pan. Cook them until they are crispy and golden brown all over, this will take about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, remove to a plate. Add 1 more tbsp oil, and cook the remaining meatballs.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions and gently warm the tomato sauce. Then drain the pasta. Return it to the pan and toss with some olive oil first, before tossing in the tomato sauce. Mix well and then pile it on to plates. Top with the meatballs, sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan and finish with a few basil leaves and some fresh cherry tomatoes.

Just a few more days left before the end of this month's bloghop, "Cook Like Delia Smith". I still quite a few recipes to post, so bear with me the next few days.


I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Delia Smith" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Delia Smith websites or cookbooks and blog hop with us for the whole month of March 2013.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in March 2013 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Mich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:

I am also submitting this to my friend mui mui's Little Thumbs Up "Tomato" event.


  1. have you taught your kids this cool old-school song yet: On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed. It rolled off the table, and on to the floor, and then my poor meatball, rolled out of the door. It rolled in the garden, and under a bush, and then my poor meatball, was nothing but mush :D

    1. Hehe thanks for sharing this, Sean! I've got to teach them this the next time I make meatballs again :)

  2. I love how fresh your spaghetti and meatballs look. I find that a lot of pasta dishes in restaurants are dressed in too much, too acidic, too red tomato sauce.

    1. Thanks Adora, I also dislike those acidic tomato sauce so Delia's one is just nice for us.

  3. Ah meatballs! I don't think there are many kids(or adults!) out there that do not like them...

    1. Hehe that is true, esp when u get it the dish right. :D

  4. Oooo...my daughter's favourite!

  5. I think my very first pasta is the meatball spaghetti! hehehe

  6. Meat balls...a food that both kid and adult will like it! Easy preparation too!

  7. What a gorgeous and delicious pasta dish!

    1. Thanks Mich. One I would be making again and again.

  8. oh!!! your meatballs spaghetti make me feel hungry :)

  9. Love this easy and hearty pasta ! Baby D , any leftover for auntie ? :D

  10. Ohh...I love this simple pasta. I have some minced pork.I would love to give a go for this.

  11. Delicious plate of pasta! Meatballs are always the favourite!

  12. Oh yes, can surely tell how delicious it is from the way Baby D is slurping up his share :)

  13. Hi Baby Sumo, delicious meat ball. Your pasta sure look very appetizing. Nice click.

    Best regards.

  14. Hi Yen,

    Pasta with meatballs is one of my son's favourite food too. Love the picture of Baby D slurping his spaghetti.


  15. Yen,
    Meatballs spaghetti is always my kids favourite.
    Baby D is so cute slurping his spaghetti :D


Please drop any comments or questions you may have here. Thank you so much for reading!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...