Italian Sausage and Red Wine Meatballs with Spaghetti

clock 15 minutes + 20 minutes bowl Serves 6


  • 6 good herby sausages
  • 1 Tbsp of oil, if needed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 700ml bottle of passata
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup fresh torn basil, or 1½ Tbsps basil paste
  • fresh or dried pasta for 6
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  • 1. Place a large frying pan on the stove. Use your fingers to squeeze the sausage meat in rough nuggets into the pan (aim for about six even-sized balls from each sausage). Brown the balls lightly, only add oil if they are sticking to the pan.

  • 2. While the balls are browning, chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan, cooking gently until softened.

  • 3. When the onion and garlic are soft, add the wine to the pan and cook until evaporated.

  • 4. While the wine is reducing, prepare a pot of water to cook the pasta.

  • 5. Add the passata and brown sugar to the frying pan and stir in the oregano and basil. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

  • 6. Cool the pasta till al dente. Reserve a little of the cooking water and add a splash to the meatball mixture to give it a little gloss.

  • 7. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the pasta with plenty of parmesan and some fresh parsley or basil scattered over the top. A salad and some crusty bread are good accompaniments.

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