Spanish Meatball

Delicious smokey meatballs in a rich tomato sauce

So, your cooking skills have improved over lockdown and now you’re looking to expand your knowledge and learn what spices and ingredients work together?

Well, this recipe work will have what you’re looking for!


Meatballs is a regular meal in our family usually served with a jar of pasta sauce and spaghetti. We were looking to zhush it up a little so we got experimenting in the kitchen and created this exciting meatball recipe with a delicious sauce.


It’s simple to make, and the ingredients can be swapped out for something else you have in your cupboards if you find you’re missing some items.

This is a great meal on a cold winter night served with spaghetti or, if you don’t mind sharing, eaten straight from the pan with some crusty bread.


  • 500 gms beef or pork mince
  • Olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (2 slices bread)
  • ¼ cup milk (or water)
  • 400 mls tomato passata (or a can of tomatoes, chopped)
  • small handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 100 mls white wine (or sherry)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar + 1 tsp sugar)
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil (or any oil) in a pan, add onions and cook at medium heat until soft.
  2. Reduce heat and add garlic, continue cooking until onions start to darken and caramelise.
  3. Add 60 mls of wine, tomato paste and cook 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Add 100 mls of passata and cook further 10 minutes to allow the paste to become full of flavour. Taste and add salt and pepper to season to your liking. Set aside to cool.
  4. Make the Meatballs: In a large bowl add minced meat, bread crumbs, milk (or water). Beat egg and add to the mixture with the cooled onion mixture.
  5. Mix until combined and make into into golfball size balls. These can be cooked in the oven at 220(deg) for 10-15 minutes OR cook in microwave at full power for 3 minutes, turn over and cook for further 4 minutes.
  6. Make the Smokey Sauce: Place remainder of the tomato passata into a saucepan and simmer for approximately 20 minutes to reduce and thicken. Add remainder of the wine, golden syrup, paprika, balsamic vinegar and 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir for another minute whilst cooking to ensure all flavours are combined.
  7. Transfer cooked meatballs to cast iron fry pan ensuring a snug fit. Cover with sauce and cook until bubbling.
  8. Sprinkle over parsley and serve with spaghetti or crusty bread and a good helping of your favourite tasty cheese. Mine is parmesan.