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Quick and delicious lamb meatballs in a creamy tomato sauce

meatballsI’m quite particular about meatballs. They have to melt in the mouth. And they need a good, mellow sauce. I am not keen on fried meatballs, so often a chewy exterior extends to the interior. And I checked out other meat ball recipes on the internet this evening. What a palaver – make the meatballs, transfer to the fridge for 2 hours. If you are really gentle with your meatballs you can be snatching a pack of mince one moment and within half an hour, or so, serving this meal.

Danny was back late from London this evening. I planned to have the meatballs simmering when he followed his hefty briefcase through the door. As usual I played on the Internet a tad too long. The onions and garlic had just sautéed and as I heard his car pull up. I quickly added the tomatoes so it would look as if I had something serious on the go. He lifted the lid of the giant saucepan and smiled as the metalic frissance of tinned tomatoes wafted out.

Tined toms are a standby at this time of year. We have finished the frozen tomato sauce and are waiting for the summer toms to turn from green to red and be transformed into the sauce that keeps us going until next June. Tinned toms are fine but I hate the underlying metallic taste which disappears if you have hours to simmer a sauce. This evening I experimented and added cream. The result was good. Very good.

Quick and delicious lamb meatballs in a creamy tomato sauce


  • 1 Large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic. Crushed and chopped fine
  • 500g of minced lamb
  • 50g of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp of decent dried mixed herbs or 1 tbsp of fresh herbs (chopped fine)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp of milk
  • 2 tbsp of dry white wine (1 for the meatball mix and 1 for the sauce)
  • 0.5 tsp of smoked sweet red pepper powder (or more to taste)
  • 4 tbsp of fresh single cream

Rice to serve cooked in marigold vegetable stock (If it is white rice, we love Koihnoor – only available from Tesco. Look on the bottom of the rice shelves for the big pack).


  1. Chop the onion fine and sauté for 5 minutes in a large casserole or marmite until it becomes soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add two tins of tomatoes and half a tsp of sweet smoked paprika and simmer as you prepare your meatballs.
  3. Add the herbs to the breadcrumbs and mix well then add the milk and I tbsp of white wine. Allow these to soak in before mixing the breadcrumbs through the minced lamb. Form 10-12 small balls the size of a large walnut.
  4. Gently drop these into the saucepan and simmer (lid on) for 10 minutes. Then turn the balls very gently to cook the other side and simmer for ten minutes (lid on). Simeer for a further ten minutes before adding the cream, stir the cream gently through the sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes.

As runner beans are in season we served them with the meatballs as a vegetable garnish

  Leave a reply


  1. Annelies Clovis

    Just wanted to say a huge thank you for posting this recipe!! I’ve so far failed everytime to make meatballs that aren’t too dry or fall apart. Most meatball or burger recipes require at least 1 egg, but my husband has an egg allergy, so I have never been able to try the standard way of making meatballs. He absolutely *loves* them though, so I was thrilled to find this recipe. I know he’ll eat every single one I prepared, and the sauce is SO yummy too! Thanks for sharing, def a recipe I will revert back to again and again!!

  2. Great recipie! It is perfect for when my hungry housemates come in from swimming training- tasty and very filling. It is also lovely to find a simple recipe with out too many expensive ingredients that my student wallet likes too! Thank you.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Nat

    Hope that they worked out well for you!

  4. You’ve just saved my life….just the recipe I was looking for!

    Thanks….now off to get it made.


  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kathy,

    I hope that the meatballs heated up well and that Leominister was sunny.

    We are going to try these with pork mince next week.

  6. Am going to try make these tonight. We are away in our motorhome over the weeke-end, so these would be good to take with us and then have a meal ready to heat through when we get there.
    Going to Leominister, so hopefully weather will stay fine.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Celia,

    Danny took the remnants of the meal to London for lunch. They are good cold too.

    Hi Toni-Anne,

    Hopefully the runner bean season will continue for a good month or so. It’s handy to have really fresh tasty veg in the garden.

    Hi Pat,

    This works well with pork meatballs too!

  8. Oh those sound really yummy!!! Hmmmm wonder if I can fool Brian with Lamb Meatballs instead of beef…. worth a try. Thanks Fiona!!!

  9. Toni-anne Alyn

    What a superb idea. I hate beef meatballs that have been fried, but your lamb ones, simmered sound gorgeous. What would we do without our runner beans? The season will be at an end all too soon.

  10. Meatballs, tamato sauce, rice – yummy! Just right for a chilly summer evening.
    And pretty much every meal comes with a runner bean garnish in our house too.

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