Sabrina’s meatballs with tomato sauce

At the Social Tables Made in Cloister in Naples, the value of hospitality comes in many forms and sometimes even in the shape of delicious meatballs that the project delivers to people and families in need from the community.

Meatballs, as simple as they seem, have the power to bring together: ingredients, traditions and, most importantly, people. They are the perfect mix of cultures, family recipes and personal taste. From their preparation to when they are served and eaten together around the table, meatballs are a fun, delicious way to spend time together.

A typical family recipe from Naples, meatballs with tomato sauce are traditionally prepared with stale bread and meat leftovers – in Naples, after all, throwing food away is considered a sin!

Sabrina Russo, chef and Project Manager at Social Tables Made in Cloister, is used to preparing them for the guests of the project, helping them to feel welcome and at home.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Social Tables Made in Cloister have come up with alternative solutions to continue their service to the community. First and foremost, the preparation of take-away meals that Sabrina, with an amazing team of local chefs, cooks and delivers to the guests. Pasquale Torrente, Antonio Sorrentino, Davide Esposito, Davide Civitiello and Giovanni Sorrentino are only a few of the chefs from the area who have been participating in the initiative. The local community has also been playing their part, helping the Fondazione Made in Cloister to deliver the meals to those most in need.

On top of recovering and cooking with the surplus ingredients delivered to the Social Tables, chefs from the community have been collecting packs of pasta and other food donations to gift to people in need.

But the spirit of collaboration doesn’t end here, other chefs have been joining the cause putting their skills and resources at the service of the community. Last Monday, for instance, Ciro Oliva and his staff, delivered more than 100 freshly baked pizzas to the community.

The Social Tables Made in Cloister have also been preparing ready-made pasta sauces specifically for families in need. Every week, on Monday afternoon, while guest chefs prepare the meals to be delivered that night, big posts of pasta sauce bubble on the stove. The sauces are then blast chilled, packaged in bigger portions for 4-5 people and distributed. Today, Sabrina and chef Salvatore Giugliano, spent the day delivering the sauces to local families while Ciro Oliva prepared another 200 pizzas for the guests.

The surplus ingredients used to prepare the meals changes every week, what doesn’t change is the sense of hospitality that the community is able to communicate through food. Whether it’s meatballs with tomato sauce or ready-made sauces for the families in the community, the goal is the same: to make everyone feel at home.


Sabrina’s meatballs with tomato sauce


  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 500 gr stale bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 gr grated cheese
  • Basil or other aromatic herbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1Kg tomato sauce (we recommend using fresh tomatoes boiled and then sieved)



  • Soak the bread in cold water and squeeze it immediately.
  • In a bowl put the meat, the squeezed bread, the grated cheese, salt, pepper, eggs and mix everything together.
  • Form meatballs of about 50 gr each. Prepare a baking pan greased with extra virgin olive oil and cook the meatballs at 140°C for about 4 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, put a clove of poached garlic, a drizzle of oil and the tomatoes previously boiled and sieved
  • Stretch with a little water and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
  • Place the meatballs in the sauce and cook them over low heat for 10 minutes with the addition of fresh basil leaves.
  • Turn off and let everything rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.


The recipe can also be made with veal, pork, chicken or turkey.