Sunday, 28 June 2015

Veal meatballs with chorizo in a tomato chilli sauce

For my birthday last week my mother, the beautiful woman that she is took me and another dear friend out to lunch at a gorgeous Italian restaurant that looks over one of our delightful beaches.

It is a stunning setting and the greetings from the friendly staff were as warm as this gorgeously sunny day.  After perusing the menu I settled on the Chilli veal meatballs which my friend also choose whilst my mother ordered a decadent carbonara gnocchi. We settled on a glass of  Coonawarra Shiraz as this South Australian region is reknown for it's amazing shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

We laughed and chatted and said hello to other happy diners, some I knew and others were just passing through but it was a very happy scene and a lovely place in which to toast my birthday.

The meal arrived and it looked and smelled amazing, although how any menu could describe 4 tiny meatballs with 3 slices of chorizo and 2 tiny buttered triangle slices of turkish bread as a luncheon dish is quite beyond me.    At least Kathy had 5 tiny meatballs and 6 slices chorizo, seriously, hey it was MY birthday but she graciously gave me 2 slices of chorizo in an attempt to even it up.

The tomato sauce vibrant with flavours of chilli, garlic and chorizo was absolutely amazing, there just should have been more of it, much more.  I had left my phone behind or I would have taken photos.

We decided to go elsewhere for coffee and cake in case the desserts were just as tiny as the mains.

Last night I recreated the dish offering many more meatballs to my appreciative family and it was deliciously amazing served with pasta.  My family and our friends, including Kathy who had popped in for a visit said it was so much better than the dish we had been served last week.


Veal Meatballs with Chorizo in a Tomato Chilli Sauce

500g veal and pork mince
2 eggs
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
handful of chopped continental parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and roll into small meatballs.  Place on a plate ready to fry.

2 chorizo, thinly sliced


1 large white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 long red chillies, finely chopped (adjust to your liking)
1 bottle tomato passata (375 ml) or 2 tins chopped tomato pieces
1 cup water
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 cup red wine
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 - 1 extra cup water approximately - preferably the water your pasta is cooked in
chopped parsley for garnish
fresh parmesan to serve

In a high sided frying pan heat a little olive oil over medium high heat and fry the meatballs in batches until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes each batch.  Remove and place aside on a plate.  Fry the chorizo slices and also put aside.
In the same pan add another 1/3 cup olive oil and fry the onion, garlic and chilli until the garlic is translucent.  Pour in the red wine, with the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.    Reduce to a simmer, add seasonings, chilli powder and pour in the meatballs.
Place on lid, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Put hot water onto boil with 1 tablespoon salt for your pasta accompaniment and pour in pasta when the water comes to a rolling boil.

Check meatballs, add the chorizo, white wine and 1/2 -1 cup cooked pasta water to thin the sauce to desired consistency, bringing back the sauce to a simmer.

Serve meatballs, chorizo and sauce over top of pasta sprinkled with parsley and with lashings of parmesan.  Delightful served with crusty bread and a side salad.


Tell me, do you like a hearty lunch time meal and do you try to recreate restaurant dishes at home?

Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx


  1. Simply damn delicious and comforting veal meatball!!!
    can't wait to try some...
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

  2. ah, so frustrating when you know you can make it much better at home.
    I donlt need mega-servings, but I like to feel like I've had a satisfying portion.

    1. Exactly E you like to leave the table feeling that you have had enough, not overly enough, but sufficient to last until dinner time :)

  3. No need to be mean with meatballs but you dish looks divine - Merryn - I haven't made meatballs for ages but have been thinking about them lately - thanks for the push:-)

    1. Meatballs in tomato sauce is a comfort food in our family, very lovely for winter :)

  4. Love the sound of this! And how terrible to have a small main course, regardless of it being lunch time! Belated birthday blessings Merryn :)

    1. Thank you Tandy I seemed to have a birthday week this year :)

  5. That sounds absolutely divine and I'm glad that you recreated it Merryn! Happy Birthday for last week! :D

    1. Thank you Lorraine, on both accounts :)

  6. Happy Belated Birthday! Sounds like you had a terrific celebration. This dish sounds amazing -- tons of flavor. My kind of food! Although I'd like a bigger portion than the restaurant served. ;-)

    1. Yes John, definitely bigger than the restaurant served and thanks for your birthday wishes 8)

  7. Happy birthday. I recently went to a restaurant that I won't be going to again because the portions were so small. I had my 10-year old son with me and as we walked out he complained about how hungry he was. Ridiculous when he'd had three courses xx

    1. Yes it is disappointing to leave a restaurant feeling hungry. Thank you for your birthday wishes Charli :) x