Spicy pork and spinach meatballs

Spicy pork and spinach meatball subs.
Spicy pork and spinach meatball subs.  Photo: William Meppem

These meatballs are great served with a short pasta such as penne or macaroni, on soft polenta or with steamed rice. They are also awesome on a crusty white bread roll – the type used for banh mi. Add a good grating of fresh parmesan and let the sauce soak into the bread, like a sort of drowned sandwich.


For the meatballs

2 large bunches English spinach, trimmed

500g minced pork

2 eggs

80g breadcrumbs

140ml olive oil

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

For the sauce

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp chilli flakes

400g tin chopped tomatoes

500ml chicken stock

¼ cup coriander, chopped


1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the spinach and refresh in ice water. Drain and squeeze all the liquid from the leaves with your hands, getting as much out as possible, then finely chop.

2. In a large bowl put the spinach, pork mince, eggs, breadcrumbs and three tablespoons of the olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mix until well combined. Roll the pork mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Cook the meatballs in batches for two to three minutes, until light golden brown on the outside, then remove and set aside. They will finish cooking in the sauce.

4. For the sauce, add onion, garlic and sea salt to the pan and sweat for three to five minutes. Add the tomato paste and chilli flakes and cook for another minute, then pour in the chopped tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and add the meatballs. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, until they are cooked through. Give a grind of pepper and stir in the chopped coriander. Serve immediately.