Meatballs with polenta

Put a healthy twist on Italian classics for comfort food at its best.

  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print


Meatballs ×
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 500 gram pork mince
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin, grated
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 4 tablespoon parmesan, finely grated
  • 4 tablespoon curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 litre water
  • 280 gram quick cook polenta
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, finely grated
  • 200 gram mascarpone
Tomato sauce (makes 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup herbs, such as parsley, rosemary and thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 400 gram tins crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper, to season


  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Mix the first eight ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
  • 2
    Form into 60g balls. Heat the oil in an oven-proof frying pan and fry meatballs until browned.
  • 3
    Pour tomato sauce (below) over and cover with tinfoil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • 4
    To serve, spoon the meatballs and sauce over polenta. Drizzle with truffle oil and garnish with grated Parmesan and parsley.
  • 5
    Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in polenta while whisking. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until thick, stirring continuously.
  • 6
    Remove from the heat and stir through the Parmesan and the mascarpone. Serve immediately.
Tomato sauce (makes 3 cups)
  • 7
    Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, but not coloured. Add the herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • 8
    Deglaze the saucepan with red wine. Add the tomatoes and simmer until reduced by half. Add sugar and season to taste.


Mike's Tips: What kid doesn’t love meatballs? Impress the little ones with this tasty recipe, which sneaks veges into their dinner. I’ve used pumpkin, but why not give grated carrot, zucchini or beetroot a try? Be sure to wet your hands when rolling the meatballs, so no meat sticks to them. Fry the meatballs before you cook them in the sauce to lock in their spherical shape. - Mike Van de Elzen

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