Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Beef meatballs in spiced tomato sauce


We love a one-pot dish – it makes life so much easier when you can’t face washing up. Make the meatballs and sauce in advance when time is on your side, then heat them up on a frantic midweek evening. Serve with spaghetti or hunks of crusty, fresh bread.

Kcal: 440 per serving

Saturated fat: 8.2g per serving

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (serves four):

For the meatballs:

  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 large peeled onion, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tsps each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsps olive oil, for frying

For the sauce:

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2cm piece peeled ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tins (800g) tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 20g fresh coriander, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Step 1: Make the meatballs by putting all the ingredients (except the oil) in a bowl and squeezing together with your hands to make a smooth mixture. Form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut, making about 20.

Step 2: In a deep, heavy frying pan, heat two tablespoons of oil over a medium heat and fry the meatballs until evenly brown all over. Don’t overcrowd them, so fry in batches if necessary. Remove them to a plate and set aside.

Step 3: To make the sauce, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes so it begins to brown. Add the allspice, cinnamon and chilli and stir. Add the tomatoes and season well. Stir, then lower the heat and gently simmer for about 15 minutes or until you have a thick, concentrated sauce.

Step 4: Add most of the chopped coriander and stir well, then return the meatballs to the pan. Cover them in the sauce and cook for about five minutes to let the flavours mix. Sprinkle over the rest of the coriander and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

From In One Pot by Blanche Vaughan (£18.99, Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Eat with …

Wine expert Jane Parkinson recommends the perfect pairing

Marks & Spencer Negroamaro 2011, £6.49

Puglia is a top tip if you’re looking for a region that has handsome, punchy reds. This one, made from the local grape Negroamaro, has tantalising but subtle aromas of dry spices and Mediterranean herbs. Although it’s soft in texture in the mouth, it’s fresh too, tasting of liquorice and blackcurrants.



20 ways to eat like an Italian woman


Recipe: Milanese Saffron Risotto


Monica Galetti's crepe soufflé recipe



20 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving

Hearty autumnal recipes from our friends across the pond

25 Nov 2015

10 Christmas recipes for a showstopping festive feast

10 showstopping recipes for a truly unforgettable festive feast

23 Nov 2015

Recipe: How to make Nigella’s Pumpkin bundt cake

Extracted from 'Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food'

23 Nov 2015

Forget sherry. These are the top wines to drink at Christmas

If Christmas was a wine, these would be it...

23 Nov 2015

Where to eat the best eggs in Britain

Weekend brunch lovers, ahoy

20 Nov 2015

Goodbye Cronuts. These are the hottest new baking creations

From biskies to ice-cream macarons

12 Nov 2015

World's first edible alcohol sweet shop comes to London

Your festive tipple, licked by Anna Pollitt

06 Nov 2015

Templates to create a Christmas gingerbread street

03 Nov 2015

The most filling and warming one-pot dishes

Minimal dishes, maximum flavour.

02 Nov 2015

How to cook the perfect poached egg

Top chefs decode the secret to poached egg perfection

30 Oct 2015