Baked Meatballs January 5, 2018 16:39

Baked Meatballs - Serves 4

This comfort dish is full of robust Italian flavour and makes a great alternative to a lasagne. The crackling adds tons of meaty flavour and moisture to the meatballs. To reduce the carb content in this dish; choose a good-quality passata without added sugar. Whilst it is a low-ish carb recipe, reducing the quantity of cheese will make it even lower. 

Piggin Ingredients:

  • 125G Perfectly Salted crackling, crushed to breadcrumbs
  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes 
  • 600ml passata
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 250g grated mozzarella
  • 100g mascarpone cheese 
  • basil leaves, to serve


Begin by making the meatballs. In a large bowl mix together the pork crackling, beef, mustard, oregano, fennel seeds and whole egg. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes to firm up. Divide the mixture into 16 golf ball-sized meatballs, place on a baking sheet, cover and chill in the fridge until needed. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C / 170 degrees C Fan / Gas Mark 5. 

Meanwhile make the tomato sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, followed by the chopped tomatoes, passata and sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring often. 

Meanwhile put the meatballs in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, shaking the dish occasionally, until golden. In a small bowl mix together the egg yolk, 225g of the mozzarella and the mascarpone. 

Spoon the tomato sauce onto the meatballs, add spoonfuls of the mascapone mixture over the top, then scatter over the remaining mozzarella. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Scatter with the basil and serve.