One-Pot Meatballs With Tomato Sauce & Orzo Recipe


This is one of Rick’s favourites from Simple Suppers – a one-pot meatballs recipe that pairs them with a rich tomato sauce and orzo pasta which can be prepped, cooked and served in under 30 minutes. About this particular recipe, Rick says:

“I tried making these meatballs with minced pork but they were too dry, so I think they are much better made with good-quality sausage meat, by which I mean at least 90 per cent pork. A lot of the brands of tomato passata with flavourings are not to my taste, but the Napolina soffritto is just tomato, garlic, onion and celery.”

Ingredients for Rick’s one-pot meatballs recipe


400g premium pork sausages, skins removed and discarded
¾ tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground
¼ tsp chilli flakes
4 tbsp olive oil
250g orzo
3 garlic cloves, chopped
60ml white wine
400ml soffritto passata (I like Napolina)
1 rosemary sprig
Salt and black pepper
To serve
Parmesan, grated
Basil leaves, torn

How to make Rick’s one-pot meatballs with tomato sauce and orzo

1) Mix the sausage meat, fennel seeds and chilli flakes in a bowl and shape into balls about the size of cherry tomatoes.

2) Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a shallow casserole dish or a large pan with a lid and fry the meatballs until lightly browned all over. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.

3) Add the remaining oil to the pan, add the orzo and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a minute, then pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Add the passata and 650ml of water, season and bring to the boil again. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes.

4) Add the meatballs and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, then cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a final couple of minutes until the pasta is done and the sauce is thickened.

5) Serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves

Happy cooking

One-pot meatballs recipe recipe taken from Rick Stein’s Simple Suppers, BBC BOOKS, 2023. Food photography by James Murphy.

Rick Stein's Simple Suppers

Stein’s Online Fishmongers

We created an online fishmongers to help give you the confidence to cook more fish and shellfish at home. With recipes and techniques from Rick and Jack alongside species aplenty to choose from – including whole fish, shellfish, mixed boxes and fillets.