Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Italian meatballs with tagliolini

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4
From Saturday Kitchen


  1. To make the meatballs, mix together the beef, garlic, parsley, the remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper. It is much easier to do this with your hands. When all the ingredients are well combined, shape into about 40 small balls.

  2. To steam, half fill a pan with water and put it on the hob to boil.

  3. Cover with a plate roughly the same size as the pan, or just a little larger, and put half the olive oil and the water on the plate.

  4. When the water begins to boil, turn down the heat to medium, so the water is gently simmering.

  5. Place the meatballs on the plate on top of the pan and cover with an upturned plate, or ideally, a glass bowl so that you can see through it.

  6. Leave it to steam for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs over halfway through.

  7. When the meatballs are cooked through, remove from the plate and pour the cooking liquour into a pan.

  8. Add the cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes and flatleaf parsley and toss until combined.

  9. Serve with the steamed meatballs.


For the meatballs

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 500g/1lb 2oz very lean minced beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, very finely chopped
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 400g/14 oz fresh or dried tagliolini (or tagliatelle), cooked
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, de-seeded and sliced
  • handful of flatleaf parsley

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Italian meatballs with tagliolini

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