Meatballs with tomato sauce

Using a slowcooker takes this delicious Italian meatball and pasta dish to the next level.

  • 6 hrs 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Meatballs with tomato sauce
  • 2 slice white bread (90g), crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
  • 1 kilogram minced beef
  • 1 brown onion (200g), chopped finely
  • 1 carrot (120g), grated finely
  • 3 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 brown onion (150g), chopped finely, extra
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed, extra
  • 400 gram canned diced tomatoes
  • 400 gram canned cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste, extra
  • 1 cup (250ml) beef stock
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves


Meatballs with tomato sauce
  • 1
    Combine bread and milk in a large bowl; stand 10 minutes. Add beef, onion, carrot, garlic, egg, paste, oregano and chopped basil; season, mix well. Shape level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Transfer to a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker.
  • 2
    Heat oil in a large frying pan; cook extra onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Stir in tomatoes, extra paste and stock; transfer to cooker. Cook, covered, on low, for 6 hours. Season to taste.
  • 3
    Serve meatballs sprinkled with basil leaves.


To freeze: Complete the recipe to the end of step 2. Pack into freezer-proof containers, leaving a 2.5cm space to allow for expansion. Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave on medium power (50%) until heated through.

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