Meatballs Beef and Mortadella in Tomato Sauce

Make this a day ahead to let the flavors meld.  This recipe is good to double.

Est. food cost is $25


Meatballs Beef and Mortadella in Tomato Sauce

Servings: 26 1 oz. bite size or 12 2oz meal size


  • 1/4 cup / olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped – use a food processor and combine all vegetables
  • 1 medium carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stalk / celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup / tomato paste (a small can)
  • 1 28 oz can / crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup / heavy cream
  • 1 tsp / kosher salt plus more
  • black pepper Freshly ground
  • 1 pound / ground beef preferably chuck
  • 1/2 pound / mortadella ¼” think slices, cut into ¼" diced chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup / fine fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup / chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp / chopped fresh oregano
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)


  1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Add onion, carrot, and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft and translucent, 10–15 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 4 minutes. (Splash of red wine if you desire) Stir in tomatoes and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; season with salt and pepper. Simmer while you form the meatballs.
  2. In a large bowl and using your hands, mix beef, mortadella, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, oregano, and 1 tsp. salt until evenly combined. Use a small scoop or your hands to form mixture into 1 oz. 1½”- diameter balls, packing fairly firmly (you should have about 26).
  3. Add meatballs to sauce, cover pot, and simmer over low heat until meatballs are cooked through and very tender, 40–45 minutes. (Not a bad idea to gently turn the meatballs about half way thru to prevent burning.
  4. Serve topped with a generous amount of grated parm.