“The secret of my mother’s meatballs is very simple – always use two types of mincemeat for texture and flavour (in this case pork and beef) and keep the tomato sauce simple, so you can appreciate the flavour of the meatballs,” explains TV chef Gino D’Acampo.

“She also used to bake the meatballs before simmering them in the tomato sauce rather than frying them, as is often the case. Always use fresh breadcrumbs rather than dried or toasted, or the meatballs will be tough and chewy.”


He recommends serving these guys with plenty of warm crusty bread to mop up all of the sauce.

Mamma Alba's meat balls (DanJones/PA)
Mamma Alba’s meat balls (DanJones/PA)
Mamma Alba's meat balls (DanJones/PA)
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 997 Calories from Fat 594
% Daily Value*
Fat 66g102%
Saturated Fat 23g144%
Cholesterol 242mg81%
Sodium 1171mg51%
Potassium 1843mg53%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 55g110%
Vitamin A 1955IU39%
Vitamin C 44mg53%
Calcium 511mg51%
Iron 11mg61%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


This is one family recipe you’ll want to adopt as your own
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 997kcal
Author: Gino D’Acampo


  • Large baking sheet
  • Large saucepan


  • olive oil for greasing
  • 400 g minced pork
  • 400 g minced beef
  • 150 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 100 g freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
  • 2 medium eggs lightly beaten
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 800 g chopped tomatoes
  • 690 ml passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 10 fresh basil leaves plus extra to garnish
  • salt to season


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Grease a large baking sheet with oil and set aside. Place the pork, beef, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, Grana Padano and eggs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Using dampened hands, take small amounts of the meat mixture and roll into 12 equal-sized balls. Place the balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the tomatoes, passata and oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the chilli flakes, basil and some salt. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Carefully place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and partially cover the pan again. Simmer for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little hot water. To serve, scatter over a few basil leaves.


Calories: 997kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 242mg | Sodium: 1171mg | Potassium: 1843mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1955IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 511mg | Iron: 11mg

Gino’s Italy Coastal Escape: A taste Of Italy From The Aeolian Islands To Elba, by Gino D’Acampo, is published by Hodder & Stoughton.


You may also be interested in…

Best-selling meatball makers

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

Bestseller No. 1
metagio 2 Packs None-Stick Meat Baller, Stainless Steel Meatball Maker with Detachable Anti-Slip...
  • High Quality Material: Our meat ballers is made from 304 food grade stainless steel, which is non-toxic and durable,lasting for a long service time. Our meat baller tongs with the detachable rubber...
  • Perfect Design: There are two size: 1.38in & 1.89in, it also designed with long handle which can reduce the pressure of your hand. It also can be a nice gift for your family members who are...
  • Wide Application: Our meatball maker perfect for meat baller tongs for pasta, salad, BBQ, appetizers, pastries, brownies, cookies, cake bites, melon baller etc. Also used as cake pop, ice tongs,...
Bestseller No. 2
GCDN Meatball Maker Set of 2 in Different Size,Stainless Steel Meat Ball Tongs Non-Stick Ice Cream...
  • Easy Grip: Smooth handle with rubber and plastic rubber ring design, comfortable to use, easy to operate.
  • Fast: Opening at the top to squeeze out excess and quickly round.
  • Non-sticking: Fine chuck, smooth inner liner, smooth inner wall fine chuck, non-sticking inner wall.
SaleBestseller No. 3
KitchenCraft ICMEATBALL Home Made Meatball Maker Tool with Non Stick Coating, Metal, 16.5 cm, Silver
  • MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHIER MEATBALLS: Choose your own ingredients and create round, evenly sized, additive-free meatballs at home
  • FAST AND EASY: This meatball maker tool works just like a pair of scissors - simply scoop the mix to form round meatballs, instantly
  • NON STICK FINISH: The scoop releases balls without trouble, minimising stuck-on bits so it's easy to clean
Bestseller No. 4
XYDZ 2 Pcs Meatball Maker Meatball Clip Stainless Steel Meatball Scoop Non Stick Stuffed for Meat...
  • ✿High Quality Material: Made of high-quality food grade stainless steel, high strength, corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance, healthier and more durable
  • ✿Perfect Design: Made from stainless steel, smooth inner and delicate texture, can be fast meatball,Convient and sturdy,the long handle can reduce the pressure of your hand.
  • ✿Easily Cleaning: These are low maintenance and do not need special cleaning care at all. It hold up well when we run them through the dishwasher and they come out perfect. Or you can do a simple...
Bestseller No. 5
Meat Baller, 2 PCS None-Stick Meatball Maker with Detachable Anti-Slip Handles, Stainless Steel Meat...
  • ★Food Grade Materials - QMOEH Meat Ballers is made from 304 food grade stainless steel, which is non-toxic and durable. Our meat baller tongs with the detachable rubber grips, are so easy to clean...
  • ★Widely Used - Our meatball maker perfect for meat baller tongs for pasta, salad, BBQ, appetizers, pastries, brownies, cookies, cake bites, melon baller etc. Also used as cake pop, ice tongs, cookie...
  • ★Non-Stick Meatball Maker - QMOEH stainless steel meat baller tongs are smooth that food won't stick to it, making it easy to clean.

Last update on 2022-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This article may include affiliate links to products and services where we may receive a small fee to support the running of this site if you make a purchase or is a sponsored article from one of our select editorial partners providing valuable advice and information to our readers.



Recipe Rating

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.