Take ground meat, some spices, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, a handful of good mood and you’ll have the world’s most delicious Italian healthy meatballs in tomato sauce
Can healthy meatballs recipe be tasty?
Somehow, since my Soviet childhood, I got used to the fact that meatballs and the word “fry” are two halves of one whole and it simply cannot be otherwise. Of course, there were also the steamed healthy meatballs from the school canteen, which were a nightmare for me – there was not a single aspect that made me even minimally want to eat them. And when from time to time my pediatrician would prescribe me a diet based on steamed food (oh, horror!), I would look enviously at my classmates who were lucky enough to dine on crispy fried meatballs with droplets of fat that slowly dripped and fell into their plates (or onto their clothes).
Since then, a theorem has formed in my head: tasty meatballs are exclusively those that are generously pan-fried to a crispy golden – brown crust. And for many years I adhered to this unwritten rule, and persistently fried the meatballs!
Savory Italian meatballs denied my meatball theorem…
And then I moved to Rome and my “meatball” prejudice was turned upside down! I realized that my theorem was not confirmed at all… I just had no idea about the existence of the world’s most delicate Italian healthy meatballs that literally melt in your mouth!
Compared to these meatballs, my fried ones should have hidden under the table, or better yet, disappear from my family’s diet altogether. Actually, now I cook meatballs in tomato sauce only according to this healthy meatball recipe, it was a kind of love “from the first bite” for me and my family.
Both adults and children love these healthy meatballs…
… mine would eat them every day! And tomato sauce, during stewing, will absorb the taste and aroma of minced meat with spices and turn into something incredible… and will make the perfect company for pasta! And no frying: the meatballs are happily bathed in a bright tomato “Jacuzzi” to then turn into tender and tempting balls of meat that will impress even the most demanding gourmets.
Ingredients for Italian healthy meatballs:
If you are a happy digital kitchen scale owner, I highly recommend using it instead of cups and spoons. Especially when it comes to baking recipes. A scale gives you far more accurate results than volume measurements (everyone scoops ingredients differently). Trust me, using a kitchen scale to measure ingredients will take your baking to a new level.
- ground meat of your choice (pork, and veal, and beef are suitable, while ground chicken meatballs are too dry, maybe it’s just a matter of taste. My favorite “formula” is 50-50 – I use ground pork and beef in equal proportions)
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- grated Parmesan
- dried oregano or basil (optional)
- tomato sauce
How to make savory Italian meatballs
Put ground meat, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, semolina, egg, nutmeg, salt, a pinch of pepper and oregano together
Mix everything well (if necessary, add more breadcrumbs, so that the mass sticks well together)
Form many small (walnut-size) meatballs
Pour the tomato sauce into a deep saucepan, add sugar and a pinch of pepper to it
Once the sauce begins to boil, put the meatballs in it and cook them for about 30-35 minutes on medium heat with the lid ajar (during this time the meatballs will stew, and the excess liquid will evaporate from the sauce).
I always serve these healthy meatballs with spaghetti, because the sauce they were cooked in turns out delicious. Thanks for visiting our virtual kitchen!
What to serve meatballs in tomato sauce with
- spaghetti or other pasta (you can never go wrong with a classic)
- mashed potatoes (that’s one of my favorite pairings)
- serve them with any vegetable side dish (like our cheesy baked asparagus) – you’ll get a fantastic main course!
- polenta (a win-win combination)
Healthy meatballs recipe (Savory Italian meatballs)
- 10 ½ oz (300g) minced meat of your choice (pork, and veal, and beef are suitable, while minced chicken meatballs are too dry, maybe it’s just a matter of taste. My favorite “formula” is 50-50 – I use minced pork and beef in equal proportions)
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ – 2 tbsp semolina
- 1 egg
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 1 tsp dried oregano or basil (optional)
- 3 ½ cup (750 g) tomato sauce
- Put minced meat, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, semolina, egg, nutmeg, salt, a pinch of pepper and oregano together
- Mix everything well (if necessary, add more breadcrumbs, so that the mass sticks well together)
- Form many small (walnut-size) meatballs
- Pour the tomato sauce into a deep saucepan, add sugar and a pinch of pepper to it
- Once the sauce begins to boil, put the meatballs in it and cook them for about 30-35 minutes on medium heat with the lid ajar (during this time the meatballs will stew, and the excess liquid will evaporate from the sauce).