Spaghetti with non-fried meatballs in tomato sauce - In viaggio in cucina

Spaghetti with non-fried meatballs in tomato sauce

22 March 2019
Recipe - First course - Second course
spaghetti with non-fried meatballs in tomato sauce

I am always looking for something different, I am curious and at the restaurant I like to order particular course that stand out from what I’ve always eaten, but in the end nothing is more comforting than dishes that remind me of family, like these meatballs in tomato sauce that my mom was used to prepare…

I tried to reproduce them, I found them to be tender and tasty, but I am sincere, for me they were not the same thing …

The meals you prepared, mum, will remain unattainable and I will taste once more those flavours and warmth only when we meet again one day…

pasta with non-fried meatballs in tomato sauce

Some tricks before directions

These meatballs are not fried, but are cooked directly in the tomato sauce, this makes them lighter and more digestible as well as less laborious to prepare.

To make this delicious one-course you have to use a tomato puree, according to the density of the product it is advisable to add a little water which will be lost in cooking.

Often tomato puree has a slightly sour taste, so taste the sauce before you dip your meatballs and, if you believe, add half/a teaspoon of sugar (and also adjust salt).

In the ingredients there is bread, you can also use the stale one, but I advise you not to use the packaged sliced bread because it make the dough more compact and less soft.

These non-fried meatballs, once added at the tomato sauce, are ready in about half an hour, but if you want your sauce thicker and more flavoured, continue cooking up to an hour (always keeping the flame low).

Spaghetti with non-fried meatballs in tomato sauce recipe

Preparation times
30 min
Cooking times
1 h 15 min
Nutritional values
( per serving )
Carbohydrates: 76 gr
Calories: 667 kcal


Serves 6

    For meatballs

  • 400 gr of minced beef
  • 110 gr of Mortadella Bologna
  • 100 gr of bread
  • 30 gr of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • A garlic clove
  • Fresh parsley as required
  • Salt and pepper as required
  • For the sauce

  • 1.100 gr of tomato puree
  • 200 gr of water approx.
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt as required
  • 480 gr of spaghetti


Put the extra virgin olive oil in a large pan and gently brown two whole and peeled garlic cloves.

When the garlic is just golden, remove it and pour the tomato puree, water, and salt into the pan.

Bring the sauce to a light boil then cover with a lid keeping it only slightly raised (you can put a wooden spoon between the saucepan and the lid on one side) and let it simmer at low heat for half an hour, then add your basil leaves.

Meanwhile, prepare the dough for the meatballs: put the bread in a bowl and fill it with water, leave it to soak until it is well dunk, then squeeze it in your hands and transfer it to a larger bowl.

Take the garlic clove, peel it and cut it lengthwise, remove the central sprout then chop it up thinly.

Also chop up the Mortadella Bologna and the parsley, add them to the bread along with the minced meat, garlic, eggs, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the ingredients together with your hands until you obtain a uniform mixture.

Form the first meatball by taking a sufficient amount of dough to form a sphere of 4-5 cm in diameter and turning it between your hands, then gently lay it in the sauce that bubbles; continue in the same way until the dough is finished.

Place the meatballs in the tomato sauce orderly, one next to the other, trying as much as possible not to overlap.

Cook them in the sauce on a low flame for at least 45 minutes holding the lid on.

During the cooking phase move the meatballs in the sauce two or three times, but avoid turning them with the spoon because they are very tender and you could break them, instead grab the pan by the handles and move it back and forth for a few seconds.

When they are ready, cook your pasta in plenty of boiling salted water and drain it until just firm (“al dente”).

For convenience, transfer the meatballs into a dish so that you can collect the sauce more easily and season your pasta.

Serve your spaghetti with non-fried meatballs in tomato sauce sprinkled with a little chopped fresh parsley.

meatballs with non-fried tomato sauce