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    Recipes — pan baked

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    Melting Meatball Macaroni

    This recipe has all the elements of comfort food: beef and pork meatballs with an oozing cheesy filling, a rich tomato sauce and pasta.

    Prep Time

        •    Prep Time: 20 minutes
        •    Cook Time: 30 minutes
        •    Yield: Serves 6


        •    3 bay leaves
        •    50ml red wine
        •    500ml passata
        •    2 tbsps olive oil
        •    400g beef mince
        •    300g pork mince
        •    ½ tsp chilli flakes
        •    ½ tsp fennel seeds
        •    2 tsps tomato purée
        •    2 tsps dried oregano
        •    4 garlic cloves, crushed
        •    2 tsps golden caster sugar
        •    1 large onion, finely chopped
        •    crusty bread, to serve (optional)
        •    2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
        •    400g macaroni or other pasta shape
        •    200g taleggio or mozzarella, chopped into small chunks


    1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the pork and beef mince with the fennel seeds, chilli, 1 tsp oregano and some seasoning in a large bowl until combined. Divide and shape into 18 meatballs with a nugget or two of taleggio in the middle (save some for the top), then chill for 10 mins.

    2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan (use a flameproof casserole dish if you can – it’ll save on washing up). Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sizzle until softened (about 8 mins). Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then add the tomato purée, wine, tomatoes, passata, bay leaves, sugar, the remaining oregano and lots of seasoning, then cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins. Meanwhile, arrange the meatballs on a baking tray lined with foil, drizzle with the remaining oil and bake for 10 mins.

    3. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving some water. If the pan isn't ovenproof, tip the sauce into a casserole dish. Stir the pasta into the sauce, along with the liquid from the meatballs and some pasta water if it needs thinning. Turn the grill to a medium-high setting.

    4. Nestle the meatballs into the pasta, so that they poke out the top. Scatter the remaining taleggio over the top and grill for 5-10 mins until the cheese and meatballs are golden. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.

    This great family recipe is thanks to BBC Goodfood Recipes at https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/melting-meatball-macaroni

    Meatball Subs

    Prep Time

        •    Prep time: 20 minutes
        •    Cook time: 50 minutes
        •    Yield: Serves 6


        •    1 ½ tbsp olive oil
        •    500g minced beef
        •    Pinch of grated nutmeg
        •    30g finely grated pecorino
        •    30g finely grated parmesan
        •    2 tsps finely chopped thyme
        •    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
        •    ½ Spanish onion, finely diced
        •    30gm fresh white breadcrumbs
        •    2 tbsps finely chopped oregano
        •    2 tsps rosemary, finely chopped
        •    2 tbsps flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

    To serve:

        •    2 thyme sprigs
        •    6 mini sub rolls
        •    2 cups passata
        •    1 Spanish onion, diced
        •    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
        •    2 X 400g cans cherry tomatoes
        •    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
        •    Baby rocket, basil and extra parmesan, to serve


    1. For meatballs, heat 1½ tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat then cook onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until tender. Cool completely, then mix in a bowl with the mince, parmesan, pecorino, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, rosemary and nutmeg to combine well (use your hands, they’re the best tool for this!), season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roll into walnut-sized balls, place on a tray, cover and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).

    2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a casserole, add onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add cherry tomatoes, passata and herbs, season to taste with salt and pepper, simmer for about 20 minutes until beginning to thicken.

    3. Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and brown meatballs all over. Add to sauce and bake, turning meatballs occasionally in sauce, until just cooked through (15-20 minutes).

    4. To serve, split rolls lengthways and stuff with meatballs, then spoon over a little sauce. Scatter with grated parmesan, some rocket and a couple of basil leaves and serve with plenty of paper napkins!


        •    Clean hands are the best tool when mixing and rolling meatballs, and make sure you roll them as smoothly as you can.

        •    These meatballs are a great freezer standby, so make a double batch and have them handy. Thaw in the fridge, then warm up in a pan, making sure they come to the boil. Serve tossed through al dente spaghetti with plenty of parmesan.

        •    Take a shortcut with these meatballs and use good-quality beef sausages instead. Many sausages have great flavours mixed through them already, so you won’t need the onion and garlic, although the fresh herbs and parmesan are still a great addition. Simply remove the skins, mix through the herbs and form into balls.

    This great family recipe is thanks to Australian Beef Recipes at https://www.australianbeef.com.au/recipes/meatball-subs/#