Spicy Pork Meatballs

Absolutely beautiful smokey meatballs, in a rich tomato sauce. One of my very favourite things to eat. And, it can be made ahead and made in bulk. Ideal for feeding the masses.




  • SERVES 6
  • 6 medium cloves of garlic. 2 grated, 4 sliced.
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, tender leaves and stems, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 1 kg ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 650 ml Pasata
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


one. Place the grated garlic in a medium bowl along with the chives, parsley, yogurt, fennel seeds, paprika, salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix until well combined.

two. Add the meat, season with pepper and, using your hands, mix until well combined. Roll the mixture into balls about 1½ inches in diameter (about the size of a plum; I like these meatballs on the smaller side). Place on a baking sheet or large plate.

three. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a few meatballs at a time, taking care not to crowd the pot. Cook, using tongs or a spatula to occasionally gently rotate them, until they are all golden brown all over (they may not hold their perfectly round shape, but that is more than okay), 8-10 minutes. As the meatballs are browned, transfer them to a large serving platter or plate. Leave the remaining bits and fat in the pot.

four. Add the shallot and sliced garlic to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is tender and the garlic starts to brown a bit, 2-3 minutes.

five. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they burst and start to become all saucy and caramelize a bit on the bottom of the pot, 5-8 minutes. Add the vinegar, water and pasata, scraping up any bits along the bottom. Bring to a strong simmer. Add the Worcestershire sauce.

six. Return the meatballs to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the flavours have melded, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Serving Suggestion. Serve over pasta or with yoghurt, flat breads and salad.

Possible Amendment.