Tuscan Meatballs

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These have to be my favourite meatballs. They have everything I love. Meat and cheese (lots of melting cheese) and mediterranean flavours! Summer flavours, yet comforting enough to serve all year round. And really, does it have to be cold weather to eat melted cheese??? I think NOT.

This dish is actually lighter than you might think. I drain off all the fat from the meatballs after frying them. The lemon zest lifts the whole thing up, and the fresh herbs add freshness. All round a great dish. Serve over pasta, with french bread, in a sandwich or make small ones and serve as an appetizer.

Serves 6



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14-oz cans Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 glass dry white wine (or wing it)
  • a tiny grating of lemon zest, about 1/4 teaspoon
  • a pinch of sugar or agave syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cream, I use half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano


  • 1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


6 oz. fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon  fresh oregano

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  1. In a large skillet melt the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook about 3 minutes . Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds until it starts to soften, Add the tomato paste. Stir in the sugar. Add the wine. Add the lemon zest.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Add the herbs. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it cook while you prep the meatballs.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the onion until it is finely diced. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined. Roll the mix into meatballs about the size of golf balls.
  4. Heat a large frying pan and add the meatballs to the dry (non stick) pan and cook for 15 minutes – it’s okay if they aren’t cooked quite all the way through. Remove from heat and drain off all the fat in a collander!!!
  5. Place the meatballs in an oven proof dish.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220° C / 425° F.
  7. Add the sauce to the meatballs, add the cream. Stir.
  8. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  9. Place in the oven to bake until the cheese on top is bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  10. Garnish with the fresh oregano.


Myra XO


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13 thoughts on “Tuscan Meatballs

    • The Cooking spoon says:

      😃 Thank you so much Caroline. It’s a dish we love in our home too, simple ans it goes with any side dish.

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