Puttanesca Meatballs Recipe

(46 ratings)

Puttanesca Meatballs
Total Time1 hours 10 mins

For a super quick and tasty week night meal that both the adults and the kids will love, try this delicious Italian mince recipe. The chilli provides a lovely warmth, but you can cut it out if you are cooking this pasta dish for young ones. It also makes a great no fuss dinner party recipe too if you want something simple.



For the sauce:

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4-5 anchovies, drained
  • 3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 ½tbsp tomato puree
  • handful of black pitted olives, drained
  • 3tbsp capers, drained
  • small handful parsley leaves, finely chopped

For the meatballs:

  • 1kg beef steak mince
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2tbsp seasoned flour, to coat


  1. For the sauce, heat half the olive oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until softened. Add the anchovies and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, stir in the caster sugar, chilli flakes and tomato puree then simmer until starting to thicken.
  3. For the meatballs, mix the mince with the shallots, egg and oregano, season well. Bring the mince together with your hands then shape into golf ball-sized meatballs and set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium high heat. Lightly coat the meatballs in the flour then brown in batches.
  5. Add to the sauce, along with the olives and capers and cook on a low heat until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. Stir in the herbs and serve with pappardelle or crusty bread and freshly grated Parmesan.
Jane Curran

Jane Curran is a freelance food editor, stylist, writer and consultant based in Cape Town. Former food director of TI Media & woman&home. All about food, wine (dipWSET), gardening and the Arsenal.