baked meatballs w’ simple tomato sauce

baked meatballs w' simple tomato saucebaked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Scrolling through the my lovely little lunch box home page I noticed I haven’t posted a meat filled supper in a very long time.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re definitely not vegetarian but of late it seems I have been conjuring up vegetarian based suppers rather than our usual meat filled fare.

Knowing how important a balanced diet is, today I am sharing one of our all time family favourites, the ultimate comfort food, baked meatballs with simple tomato sauce.

This supper is ideal for the little ones.  The meatballs are perfect little packages just big enough for teeny tiny hands to grip and nibble on with ease and the pasta sauce is an absolute favourite of every child.  Grace demolishes these meatballs, especially along side a little pasta.

Todays incarnation of meatball have been spiked with dried basil, lemon zest, garlic and spring onions making them light and full of flavour.  And they couldn’t be simpler to prepare, simply pop all of the ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine and shape into balls.  Grace helped with the mixing and shaping this morning and loved it.

I also love that these little darlings are baked.  It means I can simply pop the meatballs into the oven and get on with the hundred thousand other ‘to do’s’ on my list without a care in the world.  And I don’t have to worry about scrubbing the greasy fry pan clean!

These effortless meatballs are a must try and I promise will become a family favourite of yours too.

To create these easy peasy baked meatballs in simple tomato sauce simply…

baked meatballs w' simple tomato saucebaked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F).  Place the mince, breadcrumbs, dried basil, spring onion, garlic, lemon zest and egg into a large bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato saucebaked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Take heaped tablespoon amounts of the mince and use clean wet hands to roll into balls.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Pour the passata, diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sugar into a large oven proof casserole dish and mix to combine.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Pop the meatballs into the sauce, cover and bake for 15 minutes.  Uncover and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil, add pasta and cook according to packet instructions.  Drain and set aside.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Remove the meatballs from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Add the pasta to the baked meatballs and mix to combine.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

Serve with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and extra spring onions.

baked meatballs w' simple tomato sauce

baked meatballs w’ simple tomato sauce

INGREDIENTS

500 grams beef mince

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 garlic clove, minced

zest of a lemon

1 egg

700 ml passata

400 gram tin diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

500 grams short pasta, fussili, penne or rigatoni

grated parmesan cheese, to serve

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F).  Place the mince, bread crumbs, spring onion, dried basil, garlic, lemon zest and egg in a large bowl and mix to combine.  Take heaped tablespoon amounts of the mince and with wet clean hands shape into balls.  Set aside.  Pour the passata, diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sugar into a large oven proof casserole dish and mix to combine.  Add meatballs, cover and bake for 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil, add pasta and cook according to packet instructions.  Drain and set aside.  Add the pasta to the cooked meatballs and mix to combine.  Serve with a little grated parmesan cheese.  Enjoy x

You might also enjoy…

simple mushroom penne simple mushroom penne

eggplant & tomato penne eggplant & tomato penne

greek inspired lamb meatballs greek inspired lamb meatballs

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16 thoughts on “baked meatballs w’ simple tomato sauce

  1. What a wonderful, wonderful, beautiful blog. It feels like I have been introduced to a whole new world of lovely food for my baby and I. Time to move on from purees and let her feast upon your recipes. You make everything seem so easy and it all looks so nicely presented. Thank you!

  2. I made this tonight. Added chopped garlic, parsley and spinach to the sauce because there is an abundance in the garden. I found it took much longer to bake though, more like an hour. Approved by all! Hubby, 3.5yo and 9mo! Thank you

  3. I made this last night, it was huge success. Even my 3.5yo eat it without a fuss, and my nearly 1 yo ate two servings. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.

  4. I’m so happy to have found this website!! Tons of recipes, just what I was looking for! I was just wondering if the meatball recipe was freezer friendly??

    • Welcome! Yes the meatballs freeze wonderfully. I pop them into a tupperware freezer safe container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, I simply thaw then pop in a saucepan to reheat. Happy cooking :-)

  5. Kayla I absolutely love your blog and recipes!!! We have been following it for quite a while! Our daughter gabriela enjoys every meal so much! Thanks!!!!

  6. Just happened upon your website and am excited to have my daughter try the recipes you’ve shared! In the event that I can’t find Passata here in the US do you have a recipe for that as well or should I just use any variety of tomato sauce as a substitute? Thanks so much!

    • Hi! Welcome and I am so happy you’ve discovered my site! Passata is simply an uncooked tomato puree that has been strained of seeds and skins, you should be able to find it in your local supermarket. Perhaps in the US it goes by another name like pasta sauce? Good luck and happy cooking! X

  7. Hi there. We’re just starting out on our food adventure with our 6mo. Would you recommend waiting a while before introducing the ‘cooked’ meals such as meatballs? We’ve started with finger foods (veggies, fruit, toast) and everything has been tried and given the thumbs up so far! Also, I see the meatball recipe calls for sugar though all advice seems to be no added sugar/salt? I’m assuming the meatballs can be frozen? Going back to work soon so looking for things I can batch-cook in advance. Thanks for the recipes!

    • I introduced cooked meals at about 7 months (but every bubby is different – it just depends on how your little one is going with finger foods). Salt and excess sugar is a definite no no but the small amount of sugar in the meatballs is fine. They freeze wonderfully. Happy cooking and good luck xxx

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