How to make meatballs (this is how Gino D'Acampo makes his taste authentic)

How to make meatballs the Italian way? You need professional tips and an authentic recipe

how to make meatballs
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Making meatballs perfectly should be considered an art, surely, because is there anything more comforting than proper homemade Italian meatballs in tomato sauce? We think not. 

Meatballs make the perfect quick supper for a chilly evening, they don't take long to prepare or cook, but really pack a punch on flavour. 

Here, we explain how to make meatballs – with tips we've gleaned from Gino D'Acampo's perfect recipe he learned from his mother. For more great recipes, check out our hub page

How to make meatballs


For this succulent meatball recipe for four, you will need:

  • Beef mince, 200 grams
  • Pork mince, 200 grams
  • Breadcrumbs, 200 grams
  • Grana Padano cheese, 200 grams
  • Two large eggs
  • Salt, to taste
  • Two large garlic cloves, crushed

For the tomato sauce:

  • One tin of chopped tomatoes
  • A carton or bottle of tomato passata
  • Salt, to taste
  • Olive oil, two tablespoons
  • A fresh red chilli, chopped, or a teaspoon of dried chillies
  • Fresh basil, a bunch


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork and beef mince. Add the breadcrumbs, cheese, crushed garlic and egg and mix well together with your hands, until uniform. Season with salt.

2. Preheat the oven too 200ºC/fan 180ºC/gas mark 6. Begin to shape your meatballs: don't press them too hard, just gently roll them. 

3. Place the meatballs on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes (you can also fry them until they're golden brown).

4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: heat a little olive oil with the chilli (don't like the spice? Gino says you can leave it out). Add the chopped tomato and passata, bring to a gentle simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.

5. Take out the meatballs and tuck them into the sauce, let cook for a few more minutes. Gino's secret tip (or his mum's, anyway)? Ensure the meatballs are fully immersed in the sauce. 

6. Add the fresh basil. 

Gino serves this recipe with crusty bread but you can add it to all kinds of sides...  

See Gino's recipe for pappardelle with meatballs – there's a different approach to the sauce, but it's just as yummy.