Cheesy Meatballs baked in Tomato sauce

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Cheesy Meatballs

Also known as, Meatballs with Spaghetti. But no matter how you say it, this meal conjures up images of little old Italian ladies feeding their massive families and their sons just glowing in the love that is Mama’s cooking. I so hope to be one of those ladies one day. Although I’ll never be little nor Italian!

I used Lamb mince for my meatballs but only because that’s what I had in the freezer. You could use any mince for this and it would be delicious. You could also make your own tomato sauce but using a few tins of tomato puree and chopped tomatoes just makes this so much quicker. And the versatility doesn’t end there. These little meatballs would be so yum wrapped in a roti or stuffed in a baguette.

Mince is such a readily available and popular ingredient, I don’t think there is a single household without it, so to give you some more inspiration whilst using it, we are giving away a copy of “Favourite Mince Recipes” by Lee Blaylock. This little book is packed with wonderful recipes using every kind of mince imaginable. From Beef, Chicken and Lamb to Fish and even Fruit Mince gets it’s 15 minutes of fame in a dedicated section.

To stand a chance of winning this book, I will be asking a food-related question every day for the next 3 days. Gather the answers and send them to me on Thursday, 7 October 2010. The winner will be announced on Friday, 8 October 2010.

Question 1 : Black eyed peas are not peas. What are they?

Serves 4

For the sauce :

2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin tomato puree
1tsp sugar
1tbsn dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste

For the Meatballs:

500g lamb mince
1 onion, finely chopped and sauteed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2tsp ground cloves
1 egg
1 cup grated Parmesan / Pecorino
squeeze of lemon juice
salt & black pepper to taste

2 cups grated cheddar cheese
500g cooked spaghetti

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients and pour into a deep roasting dish/casserole dish.
  • For the meatballs, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Form medium sized meatballs and place into the roasting dish.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the cheddar cheese and bake for another 10 minutes until the meatballs are firm but still juicy and the cheese is melted and golden.
  • Serve the meatballs on top of the spaghetti and spoon over some of the tomato sauce. Add another sprinkling of cheese if desired.


Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • Tess

    This is one of my 10 min weeknite favourites! I use cocktail meatballs from Woolies (beef, lamb or chicken) and ready made pasta sauce. Terribly lazy way to cook, I know, but very fast and tasty!
    I saw on a previous blog entry that you shy away from making Paella. Do try it, I’m not a “Master Chef” but I make an awesome Paella! Just play around with the ingredients and you’ll be amazed at the end result! I prefer cooking chicken, chorizo, mussels and prawns seperately and letting the veg and fish steam with the rice, use lots of spices (usually peri-peri prawns, lemon and garlic mussels, Ina Paarman chicken spice – love her garlic and chilli spice) and add a dash of cream right at the end. Usually no left overs, but it freezes quite well.

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Tess, I’m telling you now that if I wasn’t a stay-at-home I would be cooking the exact same way! I’m just lucky that I can start dinner early most nights.

      Ok, you’ve convinced me! I will be making paella soon. I just wish I had a nice big paella pan. But your way of doing it sounds so easy! I’ll definitely give it a try soon! :) Thanx for the tips!

  • http://www.travelstart.com/street Nick Paul

    Very much looking forward to trying this tonight! Out of interest, whenever I make meatballs or anything of that nature, food always sticks to the tray/tin. Do you prefer using spray & cook, oil/butter? What works best for you?

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Nick: Great! Please let me know what you thought of the recipe. You know what? I LOVE Spray&Cook. I always have it and use it all the time. But with this the meatballs didn’t stick because they are cooked in the sauce. Just make sure there is enough sauce so the meatballs are covered halfway. This also ensures the meatballs to be super juicy but still have a bit of crispyness on top.

  • http://www.thecreativepot.net Marisa

    An old classic! Don’t think one can ever get enough meatball recipes – they’re just so versatile.

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      That’s too true. I have about 100! :)

  • http://blogs.food24.com/pinkpolkadot PinkPolkaDot

    I love this dish!! The pic is beautiful, as always!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Thank you pinks!

  • http://polkadotcupcakecooks.blogspot.com polkadotcupcake

    oooh.. parmesan IN the meatball. you got me riiiight there!

  • Tabby

    thanks Ally for your recipes. Ave upgraded in my cooking and it looks great. keep them coming!

  • Susan

    Just found your blog last week and tried this out tonight… So so easy to make! Thanks!
    My partner loved it so much she said while munching, “this has to go to the top of the pile.” Yes. Indeed! Looking forward to trying another one soon…

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Susan, I am so glad you enjoy my blog! And please let me know if you’ve tried any of the other recipes! :)

  • Vicki in Georgia, USA

    I love this recipe.
    I’m having to google ingredients in some recipes – laughing when I find out it is something common that I have in my refrig.
    Measurements are different but thank goodness for the internet!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Vicki : I am trying to keep my recipes as international as possible but it is hard seeing as we are on the metric system and that is how I develop my recipes. If you ever have trouble with any of the recipes’ measurements/ ingredients, please let me know! :)

  • Jessica

    Ally, ek het dit gemaak die ander aand toe my ouers kom eet by ons en dit was FANTASTIES!!!!!!! Sal dit definitief weer maak!!! Dis ‘n wenner!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Ag ek’s so bly Jess! :)

  • http://blog.founders.org Tony Roemmich

    Man, my grandmother was from Sicily and she made the most incredible meatballs I ever tasted, like you had died and gone to meatball heaven. Sadly, she didnt leave a single recipe for me so I’ve been trying to work it out by myself… slowly working my through the meatball recipes here, I still cant figure out what her secret ingredient was though!!!

  • Rose

    I made this for dinner last night and oh my goodness it is delicious. But then again every single recipe I have tried from this blog has been a winner. Thank you for the awesome ideas! Your food and recipes are fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!

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