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Serves 4


12 oz. lean ground beef
2 oz. fresh brown breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove elephant garlic, finely crushed
3 tbsp. hot chili powder
1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and diced
2 cups water
3 tbsp. tomato puree
1 cup precooked red kidney beans
1 tsp. salt
grated Parmesan to garnish
1 tbsp. cilantro leaves to decorate
1 lb. fresh rigatoni or dried, prepared according to package directions


In a food processor, add ground beef, brown breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg, salt, and black pepper. Blend until completely mixed. With damp hands, form 16 meatballs. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.

Add sunflower oil to a frying pan. Add meatballs and fry for 5 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes until starting to go opaque. Add chili powder and peppers. Fry for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add kidney beans and their liquid. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, salt, meatballs, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until liquid has reduced and sauce has thickened.

Serve hot on a bed of rigatoni with breadsticks, or for an alternative, omit the rigatoni and serve on a bed of rice with a green salad.