Meat balls and vegetables in tomato sauce big shell pasta

I have not had pasta for a few months and have not been feeling very well; guess getting older and this whole month have been very cold on top of that with covid virus still around in the air. I discovered right at the back of my freezer; I have some leftovers meat balls. For you, make it as below as you don’t have leftovers.

I made it in February, best use it before it gets mouldy. This time I am using zucchini, red capsicum, mushrooms to go with it. This recipe is different method and on budget. All you need is minced beef, tomato paste, fresh herbs from your garden if you have them, vegetables, white wine and stock.

Google: “Italy has its version of meatballs called polpettes, but they differ from their American counterpart in multiple ways. They are primarily eaten as a meal itself (plain) or in soups and made with any meat from turkey to fish. It is a traditional Italian meatball recipe that has become a staple of Italian home cooking.”  I am glad that I am cooking like an Italian. It was successful, flavourful, hearty and delicious. Let’s cook!!!


2 slices of 5 days old stale bread, tear into bite size
500 g minced beef
1 medium size zucchini, cut into bite size
1 medium size capsicum, cut into bite size
250 g sliced mushrooms
1 large egg
1 1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c milk
1/4 c water
1/4 Tsp nutmeg
1 Tbs minced garlic
dried parsley
dried oregano
Italian seasoning
salted boiling water for cooking pasta
Parmesan Pecorino cheese


Soak bread in milk and 1/4 c water for 10 minutes. In a large bowl mix together minced beef, egg, dried parsley, dried oregano, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Squeezed out the milk and water from bread and add to meat mixture with 3 tbs of the milk and water from the bread soaking in and mix well to combined.

Wash hand clean, use hand roll meat into small balls, place in line baking tray and set aside in fridge for 15 minutes. In saucepan add oil on medium heat when oil is hot add garlic cook until translucent. Add meatballs brown them all around in batches don’t over crowd them.

Remove to a lined paper towel plate before adding new batch of meatballs. Watch garlic don’t burnt. Once done all meatballs, add a bit of oil to the saucepan, cook zucchini until tender, add in mushrooms and capsicums mix well and cook them.

Once vegetables are softened and cooked add back browned meat balls and wine in. Let wine evaporated then add in stock, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Bring to simmer and turn to low heat, cover with a lid and cook for about 1 hours, stirring occasionally. Checking the seasoning.

In the last 15-18 minutes, cook big shell pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and divide big shell pasta equally onto bowls, spoon meatballs and vegetables with sauce onto big shell pasta. Garnish with basil leaves and Parmesan Pecorino cheese. Serve with a glass of red wine. Enjoy!!!