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Wood-Fired Meatballs

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Love meatballs? Then learn how to prepare this authentic Italian recipe of tasty wood-fired meatballs. The meatballs are lightly roasted in the wood-fired oven before slowly cooking them in a sauce made with garlic, rosemary, roasted peppers and San Marzano tomatoes. The smoky flavour the meatballs take on, comes from another world…


  • 500g beef mince
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped and fried until soft and lightly brown
  • 50g mortadella, finely chopped
  • 1 free-range egg
  • ½ cup white breadcrumbs, dipped in milk
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp of fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to grate
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 cans of San Marzano plum tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil, plus extra for roasting the meatballs and peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 1 large red pepper, cut in half lengthways, core and seeds removed
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Pre-heat your wood-fired oven to 180°C.
    In a large bowl combine the beef and pork mince, cooked onions, mortadella, egg, soaked breadcrumbs, oregano, spices and fresh parsley and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and shape into golf ball size meatballs.
  2. Roast the meatballs with a drizzle of olive oil for 5 minutes in the wood-fired oven to lightly sear the outside, set them aside. You can also roast the red pepper on a small tray with a splash of olive oil, until the skins have gone completely black, remove from the oven and cover with a tea cloth. After 5 minutes, you will be able to peel the peppers easily and slice them thinly, set aside for the sauce.
  3. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large shallow oven proof casserole dish, add the garlic and rosemary and gently fry. Add the san Marzano tomatoes and roasted pepper strips and mix well. Bring the sauce to the boil, season with salt and a touch of sugar.
  4. Add the meat balls to the sauce and place the dish in the wood-fired oven covered with some greaseproof paper and cook for 10 minutes. Serve with some grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and your choice of pasta.

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