Rigatoni with Mini Meatballs and Tomato

O Meu Tempero

To make the mini meatballs, dried basil and breadcrumbs are mixed with ground beef and pork and then shaped into small balls. They are simmered in a simple sauce of sauteed onion, wine, and tomato paste until cooked through and the sauce as thickened. Here the boiled pasta is added to the pan with the sauce and tossed to combine, which is the traditional method for finishing pasta in Italy. Sprinkle with cheese to serve.


  • 300 grams ground meat
  • beef
  • pork
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 100 milliliters dry white wine
  • 210 grams tomato paste
  • 300 grams rigatoni pasta
  • fresh parsley (to taste)
  • Ilha cheese (Portuguese, or similar cured cheese, to taste)


  1. In a bowl place the minced meat, season it with dried basil, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Shape 30 small balls, and set aside.
  4. In a pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, saute the chopped onion until soft.
  5. Add the wine and tomato paste, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add the mini meatballs, cover the pan and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. If necessary add a little water.
  8. Cook the pasta in boiling water, seasoned with salt.
  9. Drain and add to meat sauce.
  10. Mix well and if necessary add a little of the pasta cooking water so the pasta doesn't dry out.
  11. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley and grated Ilha cheese.
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