parmesan pork meatballs with spicy tomato basil sauce

Life has been busy. Work. Family matters. Illness. I’ve not posted in a couple of weeks. But here I am now & with a really easy, inexpensive & very scrummy recipe to share. I know I posted a meatball recipe not that long ago but meatballs are so great to cook & freeze for times when you’re busy &/or, don’t feel like cooking which has been almost every night for me lately. Suddenly a reprieve. 


The meatballs – easy-peasy. I whizzed-up the ingredients in the food processor. I find this method works well for helping the mixture bind plus saves on finely chopping the ingredients as the food processor does it for you. The sauce is really simple & is my go-to recipe for a basic tomato sauce because it’s so darn good. I divided the cooked meatballs into two portions & froze them in resealable bags. The tomato sauce also got divided into two portions & frozen. So during the insanity, it meant we had a couple of meals already cooked, every little bit helps right?! 

meatballs single

Remember the days when ground beef – minced beef as I used to call it back home in Australia, used to be inexpensive? Not any more. When did regular old ground beef become so pricey? We now buy grass fed ground beef from a health market around the corner from us that’s cheaper than the mainstream grocery stores sell it – go figure. We buy it in bulk – five pounds at a time, this makes it even cheaper than the ticketed price. Ground pork is a great alternative to the more expensive ground beef though. Yes, it’s higher in fat so if you’re counting calories, maybe try a half beef or chicken & half pork mixture. Or just don’t eat as many of the meatballs. 

meatballs bowl

I was trying something new when I photographed this recipe & I have to say I don’t like it much but the recipe was too good not to share so maybe you can overlook the shit photography. Meanwhile, a quick catch up…I’m still eating gluten-free but what I discovered was, I was putting on weight. I KNOW RIGHT HOW CRAPPY IS THAT! Then it struck me, being gluten-free was like a license to eat anything else. There I was nom, nom, nom…munching on medjool dates with a cuppa in the arvo thinking how good I was being with my diet. Holy shit! Two dates = 140 calories. And I never just had two dates, more like 5 or 6. I’m just using the innocent date as an example, that’s not the only reason the scales suddenly went up. When I hopped on the scales several days ago I was like – NOOOOOOO! I’ve been so good how can I put on weight. Damn it!!! And then I started using My Fitness Pal app again on my phone. I LOVE that app. It’s the only way I’ve lost weight in North America. So now I’m tracking everything I put in my mouth. None of this mindless eating BS. I started My Fitness Pal again five days ago & hopped on the scales this morning – 1.7 kg GONE! That’s almost 4lbs for the metrically challenged in 5 days. 

Some more news…after years & YEARS of dreaming & longing & dreaming…I FINALLY booked a trip to England. I leave the day after my birthday. Even though I used my air miles points it was a bit of a happy 50th birthday to me present. Years ago I had a trip booked a trip to England as part of around the world fare but I was also waiting on approval for Canadian residency. I was told by Canadian immigration if I left Canada I wouldn’t be allowed back in & my residency application would be null & void. I couldn’t leave the country & risk it. It was a big kicker though. I lost the airfare money & most of my accommodation deposit. It was horrible. Year after year I swore I’d get to England & see where dad was born & raised & meet my paternal family, I always went home to Australia though to see my family there. I was home in Australia in May so now it’s time for me to finally set foot on British soil…darling! I’m already practicing my accent. I cannot wait for some cooler weather too. The heat & humidity this summer in Florida has kicked my behind. 

My dear mum & my beautiful baby girl, Mango both have surgery tomorrow. What are the chances? I feel sick thinking about it. I’ve asked my hubby if we can go for a bike ride tonight, maybe lift the spirits, riding always seems to lift my mood. I’m thinking positive thoughts for good news from both mum’s surgeon & Mango’s vet. Please keep all your bits crossed for them both. Thanks xxoo. 

parmesan & pork meatballs with spicy tomato basil sauce
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
55 min
  1. 1 1/2 lbs (680g) ground pork
  2. 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  3. 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  4. 1/2 cup basil leaves
  5. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  6. 1/4 cup almond flour (ground almonds/almond meal) or coconut flour or panko breadcrumbs if not eating gluten-free
  7. 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  10. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  11. 1 teaspoon honey
  13. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  14. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  15. 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (chili paste)
  16. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  17. 1 1/2 lbs (689g) roma tomatoes, cored & diced
  18. 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  19. 1 tablespoon honey
  20. pinch salt & freshly ground pepper
  21. 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
  1. Place pork, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, egg, almond flour, nutmeg, salt & pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well very combined & garlic & basil are finely chopped.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a wire rack & place on baking sheet ( I line with foil for easier clean-up).
  3. Have a small bowl of water next to you for rolling the meatballs. Roll pork mixture into 1 tablespoon balls & place on wire rack. I wet my hands in between rolling some of the balls so the mixture doesn’t stick. Bake meatballs in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine melted butter & honey in a small bowl. Brush over meatballs. Bake a further 15 to 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked & lightly browned.
  5. While meatballs are cooking, make the sauce: Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic & cook about 2t o 3 minutes or until softened & fragrant.
  6. Add sambal & wine. Increase heat to medium. Simmer about 3 minutes or until wine has reduced by about half.
  7. Add tomatoes, balsamic, honey & a generous pinch of salt & pepper. Simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce is thickened; stir in basil.
  8. Drop cooked meatballs into tomato sauce; stir to coat meatballs. Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese & brown rice pasta or soba noodles if desired.
The Fresh Aussie
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  1. Hope everything goes well with the surgeries. Thanks for the inspiration. OWN Canada have been doing reruns of Simple,Fresh, Delicious and I enjoy them very much. All the best to you!

  2. I really miss you on tv.
    Then I couldn’t find you on the Internet
    I looked for months.
    And I still have no idea how I found lol
    Your recipes inspire me
    Keep them coming!
    And get back on tv with a cooking show!!!

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