Savoury | Truly Tender Meatballs in a Rich Tomato Sauce … #comfortfood

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
Sophia Loren

Spaghetti & MeatballsIt’s been a while since I posted something savoury here on PAB. A link  that I followed after posting my #pieformikey led me to the beautiful Food52. There was this huge connect I felt; loved the honest to goodness style of posting. Meandering around with Jennifers voice playing in my head , don’t wait for tomorrow, my eye caught a link to Spaghetti and Meatballs… there was going to be no waiting now!
Spaghetti & Meatballs Delving deeper and deeper I landed up at this tried and tested recipe for Truly Tender Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce by lastnightsdinner that promised the best meatballs ever in a rich tomato sauce. I knew I had to make this without wasting another day … the tiresome teen had been begging me to make some for ages. Heed Jennifers advice … do it now!
Spaghetti & Meatballs This has entered my recipe folder as one of the BEST.COMFORT.FOODS.EVER! We are a family that love our food, be it the healthy version of Indian Butter Chicken, Pizza {with Peter Reinharts pizza dough}, Chicken Quark Crossover PastryThai Chicken Satay {not blogged yet but made recently & it was delicious} … Spaghetti & Meatballs… or then this version of spaghetti & meatballs. I’ve made meatballs before but these turned out to be the best to date. I think it was the ricotta in there AND a great recipe!!Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs Tell me dear readers, do you have a favourite bunch of comfort food main meal recipes you reach out for over and over again? Would love you to share the links with me.

 [print_this]Recipe: Truly Tender Meatballs in a Rich Tomato Sauce your picture

Summary: A recipe adapted from Last Nights Dinner is true to its title…these are truly tender meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. The secret ingredient probably ricotta that makes the meatballs tender and delicious.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes + chilling time
Ingredients for Chicken Meatballs:

  • 500gm chicken mince {from thigh tenders}
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta, drained {homemade recipe here}
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp roasted red chili flakes
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper
  • Oil to shallow fry


  1. Run all ingredients in processor until the mince is smooth.
  2. Thermomix: Drop 1 slice of bread in and process on Speed 4 for 10 seconds. Add the onion, garlic and basil and chop on Speed 4 for 10 seconds, scrape down, and process for another 10 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process on Speed 6 for 15 seconds}
  3. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes {I left mine overnight}
  4. Make small meatballs and shallow fry in batches until golden brown on all sides {don’t over crown the pan}
  5. Remove and keep warm.
  6. Once all done, pour the tomato sauce {recipe follows} into the same pan and simmer the meatballs in the sauce for an hour or so.
  7. Check seasoning, add fresh basil and serve over spaghetti. {About 400gms spaghetti}
  8. Note: Thin out the sauce with some pasta water if it is too thick.

Ingredients for Rich Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 kg tomatoes,
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • Red chili flakes
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Saute the finely chopped onion, garlic, basil and bell pepper in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes and cook covered on simmer till sauce comes together. Blend rough or smooth as you like it. {I left mine medium}
  3. Add zest of 1 lime, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Simmer for 5-7 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Thermomix: Place onion, garlic,basil, bell pepper in TM jar and process on Speed 4 for 6 seconds. Scrape down sides and repeat. Add EVOO and cook on 100C, reverse speed 2 for 3 minutes. Add halved tomatoes and run on Speed 4 for 7 seconds. Season with red chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cook on 100C/reverse speed 2 for 20 minutes. Once cooked, puree to desired consistency on Speed 8 increasing to 10/ 10-20 seconds depending on how smooth you want the sauce to be.


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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  • 4 years ago

    I half expected it to be a dessert despite the obvious savoury title of the post.
    A nice change and it looks yummy.
    Anita Menon´s last blog post ..Restaurant Review Project 19- Salad BoutiqueMy Profile

    • 4 years ago

      Teehee sorry about that Anita! Can you imagine sweet meatballs? I’m sure there is a variant worldwide, but I’m firmly savoury on these! :-)

  • 4 years ago

    I love to eat meatballs in tomato sauce with spaghetti. That dish looks really scrumptious! Lovely pictures.



  • 4 years ago

    Oh daaaahling, I am totally in need of this spaghetti and meatballs. What a horrid couple of days I’ve been having. Please bring me some of this delicious comfort food. Just in case you can’t make it to england though, this is going right into my bookmarks.
    *kisses* HH
    Heavenly Housewife´s last blog post ..Link Love: My 7 LinksMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    These types of meals are so wonderful..your little escapee is so cute.. excites the appetite:)

    Many comfort meals we love:) This is surely one of them~
    Monique´s last blog post ..Figalicious and a memory~My Profile

  • 4 years ago

    The pictures and the description , especially the words “tender”, “rich” have got me craving for spaghetti and meat balls!!! I need some right now.
    Indu´s last blog post ..Chicken and Egg BallsMy Profile

  • Meatballs are probably my favourite food and these just look yummy!

  • 4 years ago

    This sounds incredible!! I think my favorite comfort food recipe is probably Mac and Cheese. Here is the link to my fav mac and cheese recipe:

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely sounding recipe and amazing photos. I can’t wait to try out the recipe. :)
    Erin´s last blog post ..SRC: Mushroom & Goat Cheese Bread PuddingMy Profile

    • 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing that link Erin … and for stopping by!

  • 4 years ago

    Quite a feat to make meatballs with chicken and make them look as rich and appetizing as the ones with ground meat! Love it and the photos definitely do them justice.

  • 4 years ago

    What an amazing dish. I would dig right in. Your children must have liked their fingers.
    Helene´s last blog post ..Nathalie’s Melt-in-Your Mouth Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Mmm i loove meetballs with spaghetti! Looks amazing!
    Valerie´s last blog post ..Reunion Island: a french little pebble in Indian ocean!My Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Love meat balls and pasta and this just looks super yumm.
    Happy Cook / Finla´s last blog post ..Cyprian Bread with Olives and CorrianderMy Profile

  • reeya
    4 years ago

    i love the fact that the meatballs are chicken coz i dont eat much red meat!
    those pots are very nice…are they available in ggn?

    • 4 years ago

      Thanks Reeya. We’ve cut-over to eating mostly chicken too as the kids don’t seem to relish red meat much. The little pots are form Sydney, but at some point in time, long ago, Cottage Emporium used to have some a little like them!

  • 4 years ago

    aah! Deeba, these look delicious, send you huggss, gloria
    gloria´s last blog post ..Delicious apple TartMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    wow it looks really delicious! i have to try it tomorrow! i have been looking for a good tomato-meatball recipe for ages, thanks for posting it! did anyone already try it?
    Klara´s last blog post ..BrustvergrösserungMy Profile

  • What perfect looking meatballs Deeba! They look so beautifully sauced which is just how I like them 😀
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog post ..Italian & Sons & Beaver Galleries, CanberraMy Profile

  • Gera@Sweets Foods Blog
    4 years ago

    Overall comfort food! Adore meatballs in tomato sauce – a classic but the secret of Ricotta is very especial – never tried with it.
    So delicious idea to taste on this version :)

    All the best,

    Gera@Sweets Foods Blog´s last blog post ..How Busy College Students can Stay HealthyMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Yummylicious ! Meatballs in tomato sauce with spaghetti a true keeper!
    Sutapa´s last blog post ..Chicken Hot DogsMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    This looks so delicious! Now I want spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast. I love that it’s made with chicken, and the ricotta sounds very interesting. I have to try this! I have a few comfort food dishes that I make over and over. One of our favorites is kung pao chicken.
    lisaiscooking´s last blog post ..Brioche Hamburger BunsMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    An amazing blog. Dunno what i love more though :) the great food or the wonderful crockery;)

  • That really looks like comfort food! I am vegetarian and my comfort food would be spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce :)
    chinmayie @ love food eat´s last blog post ..Creamy Spicy Black Chickpea Curry with PotatoesMy Profile

  • jaya
    4 years ago

    Hi mam , another jewel from ur blog :) not much of a baking person bt would love to try this . Ur surely versatile . take care .

  • 4 years ago

    this one looks so mouth-watering and easy to prepare…delicious!

  • 4 years ago

    I am making these this week. Done. They look so unbelievably delicious. Growing up in an Italian-American household meatballs definitely rate among my top comfort foods!!
    Katherine Martinelli´s last blog post ..Friday Shout-Out: Peaches, and the (Unofficial) End of SummerMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Your meatballs look wonderful! I can’t wait to cook them myself.
    Maureen´s last blog post ..Moroccan Eggplant JamMy Profile

  • 4 years ago

    Consider it bookmarked and cam’t wait to try it. I am headed to Vancouver in a couple of weeks and may make it for the kids.

  • janaki
    4 years ago

    You are just incredible, your recipes are what can I say (make me want to bake everyday ) with a BIG SMILE…!

  • Candace
    4 years ago

    Wow your blog sure looks tasty! Why is it so full of mouth watering images? I got hungry just by looking at it particularly that its pasta! :) Looks perfect! cant wait to try thanks for sharing

  • ayesha
    3 years ago

    hi there
    i tried this recipe yesterday and my my… it was huge hit in my house. my hubby and my 4 yr old loved it. all this “videshi” khana :p aint my forte bt ur detailed recipe made it super easy 2 follow. thnx a bunch!

    P.S. chicken ricotta lasagna next on d list :p

    • 3 years ago

      Yay for you Ayesha! So glad it turned out good! I love both , the videshi and the desi too! Would love to read some of your desi recipes….where are you from? What do you love to cook?

      • ayesha
        3 years ago

        i also love both kinda food. i love to cook and love experimenting in the kitchen. my husband’s fav cuisine is chinese and my fav has to b mughlai n punjabi n yeah that gives it away… i am from Delhi LOL. married to a bangalorean though. so its a lovely mix of south indian, north indian in my kitchen, with some chinese, italian etc here n there. i wud love to share some recipes bt how? i dn hav a blog.
        whr r u from? i hav recently discovered ur blog and i am hooked! love reading all the recipes and the photography is very impressive too! kudos!

  • 1 year ago

    I love meatballs, as always they are so tasty… Thanks for sharing the recipe…

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