Spicy Meatballs

Adapted from "Spaghetti with Spicy Meatballs" by Bill Granger

Serves 4


  • 600 grams beef mince
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 30 grams Parmesan - grated on the finest setting
  • 2 garlic cloves - finely minced
  • 1 fresh red chili - finely minced
  • sea salt
  • black pepper - freshly ground
  • 60 milliliters olive oil
  • 1 can chopped Roma tomatoes
  • handful fresh basil leaves - chopped
  • more Parmesan for serving


  1. 1. Combine the beef mince, onion, thyme, oregano, Parmesan, garlic, half of the chili, and lots of salt and pepper into a large bowl. Gently mix with your hands, then shape into small balls (wetting your hands makes this easier).
  2. 2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and, when hot, add the meatballs. Brown the meatballs on all sides, turning carefully. (I tend to do this in two batches.)
  3. 3. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another 15 minutes. (I also like to add a pinch extra of both thyme and oregano at this point.)
  4. 4. When serving, sprinkle with fresh basil and plenty of grated Parmesan.


I find the meatballs taste better a few hours after making them. I'll either have them on their own like a tapa, or I'll toss them in a pan with some zucchini ribbons and olive oil.


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