Meatballs in sauce: the recipe to make them soft and tasty

  • mixed ground beef and pork
    400 grams

  • Egg
    • 0 kcal

  • White bread

    4 slices
  • Grated parmesan cheese
    60 grams
    • 380 kilocalories

  • Milk
    1/2 glass
    • 63 kcal

  • Tomato puree

    500 grams
    • 21 kcal
  • Peanut oil
    to taste
    • 0 kcal

  • salt
    to taste
    • 21 kcal

  • pepper

    to taste
    • 79 kcal

Calories refer to 100 grams of product

the meatballs in sauce I am the second course of meat among the most appreciated by young and old, one of those dishes which, by the only scent, immediately brings us back to childhood and to the cuisine of yesteryear. Great classic of italian tradition, is made by mixing minced meat with bread, soaked in milk, eggs and grated cheese; once you get medium sized balls, these are first fried then gently cooked in tomato sauce, for a soft and succulent end result. Simple and fast, they are perfect for Sunday lunch as a family, accompanied by a few slices of good homemade bread to make the essential shoe. Find out how to prepare them to perfection by following our step-by-step recipe.

How to prepare meatballs with sauce

Meatballs in sauce

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

Meatballs in sauce

Collect the minced meat in a bowl and add the Parmesan and the eggs (2).

Meatballs in sauce

Add the well-wrung bread (3) and season with salt and pepper.

Meatballs in sauce

Mix the ingredients well until you obtain a soft and compact dough (4).

Meatballs in sauce

Form medium sized meatballs by rolling them in your hands (5) and let them rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meatballs in sauce

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

Meatballs in sauce

Once golden (7), drain them and let them dry on absorbent paper towels.

Meatballs in sauce

Pour the tomato paste into a saucepan, add the meatballs (8) and salt. Cover with the lid and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.

Meatballs in sauce

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


Use a minced meat not too fine, for a more delicious and succulent result; we have chosen a mixture of ground beef and pork, but you can also opt for a ground veal, chicken or turkey, for a more delicate taste.

You can replace the Parmesan with pecorino cheese and bread with del stale bread or enough breadcrumbs to make the mixture compact and workable. For a very smooth end result, you can also add a boiled and then mashed potato.

If you wish, you can add the mixture to the Nutmeg in powder and sauce with a few leaves of basil, mint and parsley, to make the dish even more flavorful.

For a lighter version, avoid frying the meatballs: just do them brown in a frying pan with a drizzle of oil, then pour in the tomato paste and continue cooking according to the recipe.

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

The meatball sauce is perfect for making scarpetta or, alternatively, you can use it to season the pasta: this way you will have both a first and a second course and you will only mess up one pan.

If you don’t like the sauce, try the meatballs in white as well. For a meatless variant, also try those for bread, a perfect recycling idea.


You can keep the meatballs with the sauce in fridge for a maximum 2 days, inside 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.