Meatballs in tomato sauce with cinnamon and cumin (Soutzoukakia)

Meatballs in tomato sauce with cinnamon and cumin (Soutzoukakia)

Rick Stein's recipe for meatballs is incredibly morerish, perfect for a special midweek meal.


For the meatballs

For the tomato sauce

To serve


  1. To make the meatballs, put all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large bowl and mix. With wet hands, shape the mixture into 20 to 24 rugby-ball shapes.

  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat and fry the meatballs until golden-brown on all sides, or grill on a griddle pan if you like grill lines on the patties.

  3. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a lidded saucepan over medium heat. Sweat the onion and garlic with the cinnamon stick, cumin and sugar until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomato purée, passata, salt and pepper and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

  4. Add the meatballs and simmer for 20–30 minutes covered until cooked through, adding a little water if the sauce is too thick. Serve with rice and green olives.