Leftover meatballs go well on a bread roll for lunch, so perhaps make a double batch.

The dish is designed to be part of a banquet or shared meal.






Skill level

Average: 5 (2 votes)


  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 80 ml dry white wine
  • 500 g minced pork
  • 50 g pancetta or prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 thick slice of bread, chopped for breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (see Note)
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 each red, green and yellow capsicums, seeded, cut into 3 cm-long, narrow strips
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled (see Note), chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need to soak the saffron overnight.

Cooling time 30 minutes

Soak saffron in white wine overnight or as long as you can. Meanwhile, combine minced pork with the pancetta, eggs, breadcrumbs, paprika and nutmeg. Add 1 tsp salt and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat and cook onion for 5 minutes or until starting to soften and brown. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in capsicums with ½ tsp salt and cook for 7 minutes or until mixture starts to become dry. Stir in tomatoes. Cook for 8 minutes or until tomatoes start to break down a little.

Add saffron and white wine, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until capsicum starts to break down and sauce has thickened; add a little water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

Using damp hands, roll pork mixture into 30 balls, about the diameter of a 20 cent coin. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Cook meatballs in batches, turning, for 6 minutes or until browned all over.

Transfer meatballs to sauce with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Cover and simmer, stirring and turning occasionally, for 12 minutes or until cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

• Sweet smoked paprika is available from delis and specialist food shops.
• To peel tomatoes, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cut a small cross in the skin at the base of each tomato,  then base in boiling water for 20 seconds. Refresh immediately in a bowl of iced water. Cool, then remove skins.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 17, pg38.

Photography by Alan Benson.