Meatballs with Tomato Sauce: the recipe to make them soft and tasty

Total time: 70 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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By Cookist

Meatballs with tomato sauce are a main dish loved by young and adults. Just the scent immediately brings us back to childhood and to the cuisine of the past. It is a great classic of the Italian tradition, it is made by mixing minced meat with bread, soaked in milk, eggs and grated cheese; once you have medium-sized balls, these are first fried and then gently cooked in the tomato sauce, for a soft and succulent final result.

Easy and quick to make, they are perfect for Sunday lunch with the family, served together with a few slices of good homemade bread. So let’s find out how to perfectly make them by following our recipe step by step.


Use a not too lean minced meat for a more delicious and succulent result. We have chosen a mixed mince of beef and pork, but you can also use minced meat of veal, chicken or turkey, for a more delicate taste.

You can replace the grated parmesan cheese with grated pecorino cheese and the sandwich bread with stale bread or breadcrumbs enough to make the mixture compact and workable. For a very soft final result, you can also add a boiled and then creamy mashed potatoes.

You can add some powdered nutmeg to the dough and a few leaves of basil, mint and parsley to the sauce to make the dish even more fragrant.

For a light version, avoid frying the meatballs and simply brown them in a pan with a drizzle of oil, then pour the tomato puree and continue cooking according to the recipe.

To perfectly shape the meatballs, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour, so that it compactes well (wet your hands a little); to make them the same size, however, you can also use an ice cream portioner.

The meatball with tomato sauce is perfect to serve with some bread or to season pasta.

If you don't like sauce, try the meatballs without tomato sauce. For a meatless variant, try the bread ones too, a perfect recipe to use leftover bread.

How to store Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

You can store the meatballs with tomato sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, in a special airtight container. You can also freeze them both cooked and raw; in this case it is essential that the ingredients are very fresh and not thawed.

Minced beef
200 g
Minced pork
200 g
Sandwich bread
4 slices
Grated Parmesan
60 g
1/2 glass
Tomato puree
500 g
Peanut oil

How to make Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Break the bread into a bowl, pour the milk 1 and let it soften for about ten minutes.

Collect the minced meat in a bowl and add the grated parmesan cheese and eggs 2.

Add the bread, well squeezed 3, and season with salt and pepper.

Mix the ingredients well, until you get a soft and compact dough 4.

Form medium-sized meatballs, rolling them in your hands 5, and let them rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat the peanut oil in a pan, arrange the meatballs 6 and cook on both sides.

Once golden brown 7, drain and let the meatballs dry on absorbent kitchen paper.

Pour the tomato puree into a pan, add the meatballs 8 and season with salt. Cover with the lid and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.

After the cooking time, bring to the table and serve 9.

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