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Gory Meatballs



  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork or beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil, for seasoning
Meatball eyeballs
  • 10 Boconcini, halved
  • 5 pitted, canned black olives, cut into rings
  • your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1/2 pound pre-cooked black pasta

Chef notes

This is my basic spicy meatball recipe.



In a bowl combine the cumin, hot sauce, onion, tomato paste, oregano, and mint. Add the ground pork, egg and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll the meat mixture into balls, using about 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture to make each ball. This makes about 20 meatballs.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil. Once hot, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, sauté the meatballs until well browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Let cool enough to handle then using a paring knife or small melon baller scoop a little circle out. Place half a boconcini in the hole- flat side facing out and top with an olive slice. Place on fork with black pasta and spoon sauce over the back of each meatball avoiding covering the eyeball.

To assemble: 

Twirl pasta onto forks.

Add a meatball eyeball

Place on platter

Spoon hot tomato sauce over each.