saucy meatballs

Delicious and Saucy Meatballs

In Italy, when you say meatballs, you say garlic. There is no good meatball without garlic...I thought until I found an amazing substitute to make them as tasty as the original ones.

I had this classic recipe from my mom, with ground beef, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs, and milk.

Garlic is my ultimate enemy. Along with legumes and asparagus, it is the worst triggering food for me, even though I absolutely love all of them!

Accordingly, I decided to make my own free-FODMAP version. I exchanged breadcrumbs with cornmeal, used rice milk, and added a tasty mixture as a substitute for garlic. Hence, shred sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and capers together.

A good friend of mine is quite big in the Italian food industry and gave me this interesting advice to use when something has a lack of taste or feels plain. Trust me, this glorious Mediterranean juice will add a kick to any dish, even low-FODMAP ones!

I had some friends over to try this new dish and they absolutely loved it! As a big tomato sauce fan (hi, Italy!) I always use more than needed because I love to use the leftovers as a pasta sauce. One of the biggest tricks in our food culture is to cook slowly, this allows all the ingredients to release their juices, hence you will obtain an explosion of flavors.

It's a great recipe even for a meal plan, you can cook a bigger amount and freeze them in order to use it when needed.


Ingredients for saucy meatballs:

  • 14 oz of ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons of rice milk
  • 2.8 oz of cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 olives
  • 10 capers
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions for saucy meatballs:

  1. Shred the sun dried tomatoes, olives, and capers together into a mixture
  2. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, rice milk, cornmeal, the egg, the mixture, just a pinch of salt (the paste added is already salty, don't add too much salt), and a pinch of pepper
  3. Make nut-size meatballs with wet hands
  4. In a pot, put the olive oil, oregano, and the garlic clove
  5. Sautè the garlic and remove it after a couple of minutes
  6. Add the tomato sauce and let it simmer at medium heat
  7. After 5 minutes, if you have a metal steam basket, put it in the pot and add the meatballs. If you don't have one, add the meatballs directly into the tomato sauce and let them cook on low heat for about 25 minutes. Turn them around every 10 minutes slowly in order to not break them.
  8. Once cooked, serve them on a serving tray

Nutrition facts

Per Serving

  • calories: 406
  • cholesterol: 112mg
  • dietary fiber: 3.3g
  • potassium: 823mg
  • protein: 27.9g
  • saturated fat: 5.4g
  • sodium: 730mg
  • total carbohydrates: 23.5g
  • total fat: 23.1g
Photograph by Tiziana Boaro. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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