Meatballs in Chorizo & Black Olive Sauce

  • Author: Ciara Attwell
  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: European


Meatballs and spaghetti are the ultimate comfort food. Open your fussy eaters up to new tastes with these herb-packed meatballs and rich tomato sauce.


  • 500g mince (beef or pork)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 25g breadcrumbs
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 egg (white only)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots (or 1 small onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g chorizo sausage, diced
  • 400ml beef stock or red wine (I use a mixture of both)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 20 black pitted olives
  • 2 bay leaves
  • parsley to garnish
  • grated parmesan to garnish


  1. In a large bowl add the mince, half the basil and thyme, parmesan, breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Use your hands to combine the ingredients well. Add the egg white, season with salt and pepper and work the mixture again with your hands until everything is well combined. Mould the mixture into 8 meatballs and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
  2. In a deep heavy based pan (I use a casserole dish) heat the oil at a medium heat. Fry the meatballs, turning regularly until they are brown all over. Remove the meatballs and set them aside on a plate.
  3. Add the shallots to the pan and fry gently until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and chorizo and cook for a futher 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the stock/red wine, scrape the bottom of the pan to release the flavours and let the mixture bubble for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, black olives, bay leaves and the remaining basil and thyme. Return the meatballs to the pan and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat, season if necessary and add the lemon juice to taste. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves!
  7. Serve with cooked spaghetti and garnish with parsley and grated parmesan.