Hearty tucker for Grand Finals Season.


  • Meatballs

  • 500g minced beef

  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil

  • ½ Spanish onion, finely diced

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 30g finely grated Parmesan

  • 30g finely grated pecorino

  • 30g fresh white breadcrumbs

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped oregano

  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme

  • 2 tsp rosemary

  • Pinch of grated nutmeg

  • Sauce

  • 1 Spanish onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 800g canned cherry tomatoes

  • 2 cups passata

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste

  • To serve

  • Mini sub rolls

  • Rocket

  • Parmesan, grated

  • Basil


  • 1.

    For meatballs, heat 1½ tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat then cook onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until tender. Cool completely, then mix in a bowl with the Parmesan, pecorino, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, rosemary and nutmeg to combine well (use your hands, they’re the best tool for this!). Season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roll into walnut-sized balls, place on a tray, cover and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).

  • 2.

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a casserole, add onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add cherry tomatoes, passata, thyme and balsamic vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes until it begins to thicken.

  • 3.

    Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and brown meatballs all over. Add to sauce and bake, turning meatballs occasionally in sauce, until just cooked through (15-20 minutes).

  • 4.

    To serve, split rolls lengthways and stuff with meatballs, then spoon over a little sauce. Scatter with grated Parmesan, some rocket and a couple of basil leaves and serve with plenty of paper napkins!

  • Tips:

  • 1.

    Clean hands are the best tool when mixing and rolling meatballs, and make sure you roll them as smoothly as you can.

  • 2.

    These meatballs are a great freezer standby, so make a double batch and have them handy. Thaw in the fridge, and then warm up in a pan, making sure they come to the boil. Serve tossed through al dente spaghetti with plenty of Parmesan.

  • 3.

    Take a shortcut with these meatballs and use good-quality beef sausages instead.

  • 4.

    Many sausages have great flavours mixed through them already, so you won’t need the onion and garlic, although the fresh herbs and Parmesan are still a great addition. Simply remove the skins, mix through the herbs and form into balls.


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