In the kitchen: stuffed meatballs

It is no secret that in this house we love meatballs. From traditional Swedish ones, to lamb and feta or beef and courgettes (or the pork, pumpkin and sage ones I made a while back), meatballs are a regular feature on our dining table. It is also no secret that we enjoy pasta. Anyway, in the April/May edition of dish magazine I spotted these stuffed meatballs. While the recipe called for a mix of pork and lamb mince, I made mine with just lamb, as I couldn’t imagine what I could do with half a packet of each left over (I buy mine in the supermarket in 500g packs). I also changed up the recipe’s pasta, fragola, which I couldn’t find and also had fettuccine I wanted to use up, and cooked the meatballs in the sauce on the stove top rather than with pasta in the oven.

The meatballs are a pretty standard mix of breadcrumbs soaked in milk, an egg and for this mix, a good dollop of pesto and parmesan. After letting this sit for 10 minutes, add the mince, and mix well (I think hands are the best for this). Make up 10 meatballs, make a dent fill with a bocconcini, then wrap up well. It really is that easy. The tomato sauce is made with garlic and a tin of tomatoes (the recipe said two, but that is if you cook the pasta with the meatballs). I added paprika and oregano.

After browning the meatballs, finish the cooking in the tomato sauce and cook the pasta. Serve with extra parmesan and something green to make sure you get your vegetables (we had spinach). Apologies for the pictures of the finished dish – it is evening here and there is no natural light.

Verdict – lovely, moist and flavourful meatballs, with a melting cheesy middle, with everyone’s favourite, pasta and tomato sauce.

Make again? Oh yes….no more complicated than ordinary meatballs, but with a hidden tasty centre.

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis. If you want to get in touch, email me on or


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