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Ivana Gavric’s More-ish Meatballs

I adored these as a child, and now my own family gets very excited polishes them off in no time! They can make an easy dinner when feeding a crowd, as a lot of the prep can be done beforehand. They’re flexible and can be served as dinner party mains as well as easy dinner at home. The soaked bread and soya makes the meatballs that bit lighter and adds a nice texture to the mince. I always try and make extra and freeze half for next time. Serve with creamy mash, with rice or with cheesy polenta.

Serves 4-6


500g mince – I like to use a combination of pork and beef, or lamb

2 slices of old bread soaked in milk for 15-20 mins, then drained

1 large cup of soya mince (soaked in hot water for 30 mins then drained well – use your hands to squeeze the water out)

1 onion chopped really small (optional)

1-2 eggs

3-4 tablespoons of flour for rolling the balls in before frying

fresh parsley

1 tablespoon of tomato puree

salt and pepper

2 tins of tomato (any type really) or 1 bottle/pack of Tomato passata. Chuck in some fresh chopped tomatoes if you have them, especially if they’re a bit past their best.

Vegeta (seasoning) or stock cube


Mix the mince, the soaked bread, soya (and onions if using) in a large bowl. Add tomato puree, salt/pepper and eggs. Put 3-4 tablespoons of flour on a large plate and with wet hands roll into balls, then briefly roll into flour. If you’re planning to freeze a batch, do so now. Get the frying pan hot and fry the meatballs for 2-3 minutes, turning them carefully until lightly browned all over, then add tomato passata/tinned tomatoes, stock/Vegeta and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve on a bed of rice/polenta/mash and sprinkle fresh chopped parsley.

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