Those Chianti baked meatballs

This is a fabulous dish: easy to make, satisfying and economical too. A small amount of good quality minced beef goes a long way.

And … it’ll make the kitchen smell gorgeous!

One for the weekend.

If you are feeding kids, go easy on the chilli. The alcohol in the wine evaporates during cooking and just gives a lovely deep flavour to the tomato sauce.

Serve with pasta, soft polenta or rice and a nice green salad.

One of  the favourite meals with SavvyCook clients – and rightly so!

Lean beef is a great source of easily absorbed iron. Iron is needed to keep the blood healthy and oxygenated and to prevent iron-deficiency anaemia. Beef is also a great source of protein. Tinned tomatoes are an excellent source of an antioxidant called lycopene, cooking the tomatoes means the lycopene is released from the tomato cells and more easily absorbed. Lycopene can help protect against eye disease and cancer. The pasta, rice or polenta provide complex carbohydrates needed for energy.

Nutritional analysis







Of which saturates



hydrate (g)

Of which  sugars (g) Fibre
























The quantities below serve 2, so the recipe is easy to scale up if you arte feeding more eaters.

This is what you  need:

300g minced beef (I use lean Aberdeen Angus)

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 shallot or 1/2 onion finely chopped

5 black olives, stone removed + finely chopped

3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

1 tsp dried thyme

3 tbsp breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/2 tsp ground paprika

1  (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes

half a glass (125ml) of Chianti (or other red wine)

1/2  tbsp olive oil

This is what you do:

  1. pre-heat the oven to 200C
  2. in a large bowl, mix the mince with all the other ingredients apart from the chopped tomatoes and wine
  3. coat a baking tray with the olive oil
  4. divide the mixture into 10-12 portions and roll into small balls
  5. place the meatballs in the baking tray and gently roll around in the oil until evenly coated
  6. bake for 10 minutes
  7. add the Chianti and return to the oven for another 10 minutes
  8. add the chopped tomatoes and bake for 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and thickened
  9. sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve

I’m thinking “yum” as I write. Let me know if you agree.

Bon appetit!


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