Quick and simple to make, pork and pancetta meatballs and tomato sauce. Perfect to freeze and store over the Christmas period – just add to your favourite pasta when guests arrive.
Serves: 6
Prep time: 1 hr
Cooking time: 25 mins
Total time: 1 hr 25 mins
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs:Cheap as chips




    • 500g (1b) lean minced pork


    • 80g pack cubed pancetta, roughly chopped


    • 30g (1oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


    • 2 tsp dried sage or dried oregano


    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    • 1 medium egg


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil


For the sauce:

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil


    • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped


    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped


    • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes


    • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup


    • Tagliatelle or fettucine, to serve






    1. Put the pork, pancetta, Parmesan, herbs, seasoning and egg in a large bowl and use your hand to mix it together well.


    1. Shape the mixture into 24 balls (use a tbsp measuring spoon as a guide to how much mixture per ball). Put them on a tray lined with Bakewell paper and chill them until firmed up — about an hour.


    1. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Warm the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a couple  of mins. Pour in the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 mins. Add the ketchup and season.


    1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the meatballs in one layer and leave for 5 mins to brown on one side, then turn them to cook on the other side for another 5 mins.


To serve now: Add meatballs to the sauce, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Serve pasta with meatballs in the sauce, with extra Parmesan, if you like.
To freeze:
Cool meatballs then pack, in one or two batches, in a
tub or bags (see photo). Pour sauce into a tub or bag. Seal, label and freeze. Use within 3 months.
To serve from freezer:
Thaw meatballs and sauce in fridge. Bring sauce to the boil in a pan on the hob. Add the meatballs and simmer for 10 mins. Serve with pasta, as above.


Nutritional information per portion



fat 20.0g saturates 6.0g calories 264(kcal)


This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.