MasterChef Winner Jane Devonshire’s Cheesy Meetballs in Rich Tomato Sauce

Fam­i­ly Favourite Main Course

Cheesy Meat­balls in Rich Toma­to Sauce

Feeds 6 – 8

This recipe is a great fam­i­ly favourite. I par­tic­u­lar­ly loved it when the kids were small as they would help roll out the lit­tle meat balls and real­ly get engaged in the cook­ing of the dish.  Please feel free to use a cheese that you love. Goats cheese and blue cheese would also work very well as would the addi­tion of chilli if you like spice.


I would use a gluten free pas­ta but please use your favourite I do think Spaghet­ti and Meat­balls is a great fun com­bi­na­tion, although beware it can get messy.


And it’s worth remem­ber­ing this is a great dish to freeze.


900gm  Minced beef

1 large egg

1 litre Pas­sa­ta

2 Balls Moz­zarel­la

150 gm strong Ched­dar Cheese

200gm Flat Leaf Pars­ley fine­ly chopped includ­ing stalks

100gm Thyme leaves picked from stalks

4 large gar­lic cloves fine­ly chopped or grat­ed

1 x large Span­ish onion fine­ly chopped

Salt and Black Pep­per

Tea­spoon of sug­ar

Olive Oil

Veg­etable Oil for fry­ing

Spaghet­ti I work on rough­ly 90gm per adult.



  1. Put the chopped onion and gar­lic into a small saucepan and gen­tly saute in a lit­tle olive oil until translu­cent but no colour­ing.

2. Chop the ched­dar and the moz­zarel­la into small chunks about .5cm to 1cm big. Its not an exact thing just want to give you an idea.

3. Put the Pas­sa­ta into a saucepan with half of the thyme and half the chopped pars­ley (leave a lit­tle pars­ley to one side if you want for sprin­kling on the fin­ished dish when serv­ing), salt pep­per and the tea­spoon of sug­ar sim­mer until the pas­sa­ta reduced and thick­ened and about 15 min­utes.

4. In a large mix­ing bowl com­bine the mince about half the chopped pars­ley and half the picked thyme, the egg and the cooked onion and gar­lic mix­ture, salt and black pep­per I like to be gen­er­ous with the pep­per in this dish.  Using your hands com­bine thor­ough­ly.

5. Once com­bined get a large plate or bak­ing tray and start to make the meat­balls. Take a small lump of the mince mix­ture about the size of a cher­ry toma­to flat­ten in your hand and make a small dim­ple in the mid­dle. Put a piece of the cheese I use alter­nate moz­zarel­la and  ched­dar and put into the cen­tre of the mince mix­ture shape your meat­ball around the cheese, try to make sure cheese is com­plete­ly encased, place the meat­ball on the bak­ing tray.  Repeat until all of the mince mix­ture is used up you should still have extra cheese we will use it all in the recipe.

6. Once the meat­balls are made get a fry­ing pan and an oven ready dish or casserole pot.  Put some oil into the fry­ing pan so it is about 1cm deep.  Heat the oil until you can put a lit­tle of the mince mix­ture in and it siz­zles gen­tly.  Fry off the meat­balls until gold­en in colour, turn­ing halfway through.  We are going to bake in the oven so don’t wor­ry if not cooked all the way through.  I do this in batch­es and put straight into the casserole dish as I have done them.

7. Once meat­balls all made pour over the toma­to sauce. Sprin­kle over all the remain­ing cheese and put in oven gas mark 6, 180. For about 30 — 45 min­utes until the cheese is bub­bling and gold­en.

8. Remove from oven I like to rest them whilst I cook the pas­ta mince like all meat is bet­ter for this. Also peo­ple don’t get burnt with red hot cheese.

9. Cook spaghet­ti as per instruc­tions. I put the spaghet­ti in big dish pile on the meat­balls and sprin­kle with some pars­ley and let every­one dig in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

What is 11 + 9 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is: