Spaghetti and meatballs

I love Spaghetti and meatballs!  This recipe is simple to make and it’s a great balanced meal jammed with flavour that everyone will love. I use pork mince as well as beef mince for an extra boost of flavour, but you don’t have to. I freeze the two unused portions of leftover mince in a bag so it’s all ready for next time. The meat, veges and carbs are all there in one in one dish – I sometimes serve it ‘family style’ like this, in one big plate with the sauce already mixed into the pasta – this is how Italians would do it, but sometimes I like piling sauce on top of pasta in a bowl!


300g pork mince
300g beef mince
1 slice wholemeal bread, torn into small pieces and soaked in 2 tbsp milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 smallish onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley, plus extra for serving
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
1 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh oregano
3 tbsp tomato paste
3⁄4 cup beef or chicken stock (I like the fresh one ones in the pouches)
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
Fresh herbs for serving – I like lots of chopped basil and parsley

To serve: Freshly grated Parmesan, freshly chopped herbs (parsley, basil)


Put the minces, bread, egg, garlic, onion, parsley, thyme, and 1 tbsp of the tomato paste into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and mix and mash it all up really well using your clean hands. Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls.

Heat a splash of oil over a medium high heat in a large frying pan, and brown the meatballs all over in two batches. Once browned, remove and set aside.

Drain any oil from the frying pan and add the stock. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to get all those crunchy caramelised meat juices from the meatballs into the sauce. Add the rest of the tomato paste, meatballs, tomatoes, oregano, sugar and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce is nice and thick. Stir in the spinach and simmer to wilt it. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with hot spaghetti cooked al dente, a scattering of fresh chopped herbs, and lots of freshly grated Parmesan. Belissimo!

These days, when I’m not writing cookbooks and dashing around the country doing foodie things, I spend most of my time gangling around in my little kitchen, creating new and exciting recipes to inspire home cooks, like you.
  1. Aaron Reply
    Hi Chelsea I have made your meatballs recipe a few times now I rate it #1 Please keep these awesome recipes coming Regards Aaron
    • Chelsea Winter Reply
      Thanks Aaron, I sure will! Glad you like 'em! My fave too :)
  2. Annette Reply
    Hi Chelsea, Just made this recipe tonight after coming across it on FB the other day...It was delicious and enjoyed by everyone!! Thank you :)
  3. Nicky Reply
    Yum. My 4yr old and 1yr old loved this as did us adults too.
  4. mel Reply
    Hi chelsea, great recipe! I make this with rice noodles for a gluten free meal. I dont see a pinterest icon on your website. Is this something you will be getting so we can save our favorite recipes? Thanks, mel.
    • Chelsea Winter Reply
      Hi Mel, if you hover your mouse over the main image it should give you the option to pin it?
  5. Nicky Reply
    Yum, my kids love this recipe. Guaranteed clean plates!
  6. Sarah Reply
    This was so yummy, although my meatballs kept falling apart, any tips? Thanks
    • Chelsea Winter Reply
      Hi Sarah, did you make them quite big? Sometimes if you make them too big then turn them too often they can fall apart. Sorry to hear that!
  7. Kristy Reply
    Hi Chelsea, My son is allergic to egg. Is there anything that I can substitute it with?
    • Chelsea Winter Reply
      Hi Kristy, you can use 1/2 cup evaporated milk to help it bind together :)
  8. Christina Reply
    Made this recipe last night, was quick and easy. Even my three year old (who has been known to describe my cooking as tasting like"jam in old shoes") demolished a huge plate full. Will be buying your cook book next time I see it for sure!
  9. Rush Family Reply
    Awesome recipe. Put the oregano into meatballs by mistake but it tasted delicious regardless. Keep up the great work.
  10. Tanya Reply
    Hi Chelsea Can you just use pork mince, or will it taste funny? Thanks :) Love your recipes.
    • Chelsea Winter Reply
      It won't have as much flavour with just pork - but you can try!
  11. Dan Reply
    I've tried so many different versions of this classic dish and never found one to settle on that really stood out until I tried yours! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, by far and away the best meatballs I have ever had.
  12. Jo Reply
    Made these last night they were amazing! Adding to the meal rotation for sure! Thanks :)
  13. Antoinette Ward Reply
    Hi Chelsea, if I wanted to make this gluten and dairy free. I know for the pasta I would just get the gluten free pasta but with the meat balls the bread that gets soaked in milk what can be used as an alternative to that? I would also just not serve with parmsen. Our family is new to the diet so just a little fresh on what you can use as alternatives. Many thanks Antoinette
    • Chelsea Winter Reply
      Hi there, you can use gluten-free bread or crackers, and whizz up crumbs in the food processor if you like?

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