Meatballs and Olives Recipe

(54 ratings)

Meatballs and Olives photo Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt
Meatballs and Olives photo Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt
(Image credit: dbp books)
Serves2 adults and 4 children
Preparation Time15 mins plus 10 minutes chilling (optional)
Cooking Time55 mins
Total Time1 hours 20 mins

For a mince recipe you'll want to try again and again, look no further than this delicious and flavoursome dish.



  • 500g minced meat, such as beef, pork or lamb
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves or 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large aubergine, finely diced into small pieces
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 80ml red wine, water or stock
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 handfuls black olives, pitted and chopped

To serve:

  • 4 tbsp natural or Greek yogurt
  • cooked rice or pitta breads


  1. Put the mince, onion, garlic, egg, mint and nutmeg in a food processor and season lightly with salt and pepper. Process until thoroughly combined. Using wet hands to stop the mixture sticking to you, shape the meatball mixture into balls the about size of a whole walnut in its shell. If you have the time, pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. (Alternatively, you can make the meatballs up to a day in advance and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan over a medium-high heat, add the meatballs and fry for a few minutes until they start to colour, then remove them from the pan. Add the aubergine and fry for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, then the wine and wine vinegar. Add the oregano, cinnamon and olives, season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Pop in the meatballs, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 45 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
  3. Drizzle over a spoonful of natural or Greek yogurt and serve with cooked rice or pitta breads.