Gino D’Acampo’s light spicy meatballs recipe is an easy recipe which is perfect for the whole family. Made in under an hour and a half, this traditional Italian dish is bursting with flavour thanks to the rich tomato sauce and mixed spices of chilli and paprika. The tender meatballs in this recipe are really easy to make – perfect for getting the kids involved in the cooking. Gino says, about his famous meatball recipe: ‘Every time I make meatballs at home, my boys love to get involved and of course, because they made it, they feel very proud when they eat it.’ We just can’t get enough of this classic Italian meatball recipe. Top with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and watch clean plates appear all round.
- 500g lean minced beef
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- 1tsp dried chilli flakes
- ½tsp paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 x 720ml bottle of sieved tomatoes (passata)
- 10 basil leaves
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 300g cooked brown rice, to serve
Put the minced beef, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan, chilli flakes and paprika in a large bowl. Season with salt and break in the egg. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with your hands, then shape into 12 equal sized balls. Place on a plate, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, tip the passata into a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, add in the basil leaves, bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and gently fry the meatballs over a medium heat for 5 mins until golden brown all over.
Once ready, place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and return the pan to a low heat. Cook for 1 hr with the lid half on, stirring occasionally. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little water.
To serve, divide the rice between six serving plates, place 2 meat balls on each serving and spoon over the tomato sauce.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
'You don’t have to use chilli flakes and you can definitely substitute the beef mince with pork or lamb or even mixed together'