Meatballs with Tomato and Green Olive Sauce

, from Issue #20. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Meatballs with Tomato and Green Olive Sauce

Serves: 4-6


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup fresh white bread crumbs
½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and cumin
¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
400 grams beef mince
400 grams pork mince
¼ cup finely chopped stuffed green olives
¼ cup chopped mint
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ cup sherry or red wine
1 x 400 gram tin crushed Italian tomatoes
pinch chilli flakes
1 cup green olives
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


Meatballs: Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion, carrot, garlic and rosemary until the onion is very tender. Scrape onto a plate and cool. Put the breadcrumbs, spices, milk and egg in a large bowl and combine. Add the mince, olives, cooled vegetables and mint. Season generously and combine well. Hands are good for this. Loosely form into walnut-sized balls. Leave the edges
a little ‘raggy’ so the sauce can cling.

Heat a little olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the meatballs until golden on all sides. They should still be raw in the centre.

Sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic until tender. Increase the heat, add the sherry or wine and let it bubble up. Add the tomatoes and chilli flakes and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over the meatballs and add the olives. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.

To serve: Stir in the flat-leaf parsley and serve over cooked rice or creamy mashed potatoes or with slices of chargrilled bread.