Sicilian-Style Meatballs

Sicilian-style meatballs are a delectable twist on the classic Italian meatball, infused with the bold and vibrant flavors of Sicilian cuisine. These meatballs burst with Mediterranean ingredients like pine nuts, raisins, and aromatic herbs, creating a unique and savory experience. Whether served as an appetizer, a main course, or as a topping for pasta, these meatballs are sure to transport your taste buds to the sunny shores of Sicily. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through creating your own Sicilian-style meatballs that capture the essence of this delightful Mediterranean cuisine.


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef (or a mix of beef and pork)
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for frying

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


Step 1: Prepare the Meatball Mixture

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, fresh breadcrumbs, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, pine nuts, soaked and drained raisins, fresh parsley, chopped onion, minced garlic, and the egg.
  2. Season the mixture with salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Be careful not to overwork the mixture, as this can make the meatballs tough.

Step 2: Form the Meatballs

  1. Using your hands, shape the meat mixture into meatballs of your desired size. Traditional Sicilian-style meatballs are often smaller than their Italian counterparts, but you can make them to your preference.

Step 3: Fry the Meatballs

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Carefully place the meatballs in the hot oil and cook until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. This should take about 10-12 minutes. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  3. Once cooked, transfer the meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

Step 4: Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  1. In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.
  2. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to combine.
  2. Serve the Sicilian-style meatballs hot, garnished with fresh basil leaves for a burst of color and flavor.


Sicilian-style meatballs are a flavorful journey to the Mediterranean, combining savory beef with the unique taste of pine nuts, raisins, and aromatic herbs. Whether you enjoy them as an appetizer, a main course, or as a delightful pasta topping, these meatballs offer a taste of Sicilian cuisine that’s sure to leave your taste buds longing for more. Enjoy the rich and savory flavors of Sicily with homemade Sicilian-style meatballs!

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