Tomato Braised Veal Meatballs

Tomato Braised Veal Meatballs

Tomato Braised Veal Meatballs

I love braising meatballs, especially with leaner meats as it keeps the texture soft and juicy and not dry.  This is a super easy make ahead.  Just reheat and serve with your favourite pasta. OR you could make some of those nifty zucchini noodles with a spiral slicer.  This recipe eats like a stew so if you don't want noodles, you could just eat it out of a bowl with some fresh bread for dipping, of course.


  • 1 lb. ground veal (you could use whatever ground meat you like as long as it is fairly lean)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • A few big turns of fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients as make into balls (as big or as small as you want).  I use a little ice cream scooper and then form into balls to make them uniform sizes.  You can also form balls and place on a baking sheet, freeze and then put into plastic freezer bags uncooked.  That way you can pop them into soups or sauces from frozen.  

Tomato Sauce Braising Liquid

  • 1 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 red onion, sliced this
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup or so of white wine (you could use red if you have it on hand)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
  • a hearty splash of olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1, 28 ounce can of quality tomatoes (or you could use strained tomatoes if you want it less tomato chunky)

Heat up a heavy braiser pan on medium/high heat (or heavy pot with lid).  Add oil, peppers, onion, mushrooms, garlic and sweat out the vegetables until tender, mushrooms starting to lose their moisture.  Pour in wine and reduce until wine has almost completely evaporated.  Add tomatoes and their juices and break up the tomatoes with a potato masher a bit.  Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring up to a simmer for 20-30 minutes to let the flavours combine.

Place the meatballs in the pot and spoon over some sauce to cover.  Put on the lid and turn down to lowest simmer.  After about 20 minutes (depending on the size of your meatballs), take one of the meatballs our and test it with a meat thermometer to make sure it is 160F.  Then eat that meatball, because you deserve it.  You worked hard making this delicious meal.

Serve over pasta or eat as is with some fresh bread for dipping.  This is a chucky mixture that would work really well in a meatball sandwich. Top with freshly grated parmesan.

Laura Reybroek