We thought we’d share this simple recipe for traditional meat balls, with the added bonus that you’ll be able to get all the ingredients in your local SuperValu.

SuperValu have recently went into partnership with top Northern Ireland chef Noel McMeel, who is currently Executive Head Chef at the prestigious five star Lough Erne Resort.

The plan is that he’ll share his passion for local produce with SuperValu customers, promoting its extensive range of fresh, local and quality ingredients and encouraging consumers to shop local.

6 April 16 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

“My mother was always a person that loved great flavours and with her tomato sauce she would cook it for hours as she kept on adding lots of sweet tomatoes from the garden for a deep concentrated flavour. You don’t have to be in Italy to have a good tomato sauce. I have always been told a good tomato sauce is one of the first things that any cook or chef should learn to make – it is almost infinitely useful & it keeps pretty well” – Noel McMeel, SuperValu Chef


For the meatballs

  • 2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
  • 150g/5oz onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 900g/2lb freshly Northern Irish minced beef
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs, such as marjoram, or 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Rapeseed Oil

For the tomato & Herb Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
  • 3 Beef tomatoes
  • 110g/4oz onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 150g/5¼oz fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x 400g/14oz cans tomatoes


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of Rapeseed Oil in a heavy stainless steel saucepan over a gentle heat and add the onion and garlic.
  • Cover and sweat for 4 minutes, until soft and a little golden. Allow to cool.
  • In a bowl, mix the minced beef with the cold sweated onion and garlic. Add the herbs and the beaten egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Fry a tiny bit to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Divide the mixture into approximately 24 round balls. Cover the meatballs and refrigerate until required.
  • Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a stainless steel saucepan.
  • Add the sliced onion, dried herbs and the crushed garlic, toss until coated, cover, and sweat on a gentle heat until soft and pale golden. Slice the fresh & canned tomatoes and add, with all the juice, to the onion mixture.
  • Season the contents with sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Cook the tomatoes uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until the tomato softens (while this is cooking make the meatballs).
  • Heat a frying pan and cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes in about three tablespoons of Rapeseed Oil.
  • When they are cooked, put them into an ovenproof dish with the tomato sauce and top with the grated mozzarella. Place under a preheated grill until the cheese has melted.
  • Serve with spaghetti or your favourite pasta.

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