Erin’s Meatball Bolognese

After Boris announced that I would be stuck at home with the ‘rents for the foreseeable future, it was clear to me that I needed something to keep me occupied in the meantime. Cooking is something that’s super easy when you’ve got time on your hands, and there is no better time than when you’re in the midst of a global pandemic, right? Now, I’m no MasterChef but I know my way around the kitchen, and this week I am going to reinvent one of my favourite recipes with things you’ve hopefully got left in your cupboards. 

The first thing is a staple in my house; Meatball Bolognese. 

Before you turn to the black market trying to get your hands on some pasta, this Bolognese is super good on top of pretty much any kind of carbs. You could try a jacket potato, chips, nachos or rice. Trust me, as a student I’ve tried them all and they’re not half bad alternatives. 

Okay, so now for the actual recipe. To make 4 good sized portions, you’re going to need –

  • 12 meatballs
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 400g tin of chopped tomatoes with herbs 
  • 3 tbsp of tomato purée 
  • 1 large onion (red or white)
  • 2 ½ tsp of garlic paste
  • 3 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • A good dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp of sunflower oil 
  • Cornflour if necessary

I usually start off by prepping the ingredients. Finely dice both peppers and the onion and add to a big pan that’s been preheated with the cooking spray. Then add the garlic into the mix. I like things super garlicy, so just add to your preferred taste. Fry them off until everything is soft; on a high heat this usually takes me around 10 minutes. 

I set the meatballs aside and squash them down. In this recipe, I turn them into a mince like consistency, so I prefer to break them up before I cook them. Next I add the meatballs into the pan with a dash of oil. I usually fry everything off on a medium heat until the meatballs are browned; while continuing to break the meatballs up with the wooden spoon as they cook. 

After this I add both tins of chopped tomatoes and crumble over the beef stock cube before mixing everything together over a medium heat. Then I throw in the tomato purée and all of the spices. Again, add the spices to your preferred taste. My family aren’t huge on chilli, so I add less of that here. 

simmer on a low heat for around 20 minutes

I then leave the pan to simmer on a low heat for around 20 minutes. At this point if the bolognese is too runny you can add another stock cube or a few teaspoons of cornflour to thicken everything up. 

And hey presto, you’re done, and you’ve got the most amazing meatball Bolognese to demolish. You’re welcome, thank me later. 

If you fancied a different take on the recipe, you can mix the bolognese with pasta and put into an oven proof dish. Top with a good helping of cheese and put under the grill for 20 minutes and you’ve got a super easy pasta bake. 

Hope you enjoy the recipe! If you make it or put your own spin on it please tag Concourse on any social media platform so I can see your creations. Also, hit us up with any other recipes you would like to see in the future. 


Concourse is Keele University’s independent student-run publication and has a long history of promoting student journalism. Having been established in 1964, Concourse has become an important part of the university and has been read by generations of Keelites.

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