These are called porcupine meatballs because you include raw rice in the meatball mix. After they are cooking in tomato pasta sauce the rice is cooked and the sauce is flavoured.
My Mum used to make these so I was overjoyed to find the recipe. I made my own pasta sauce with ham, mushroom, tomato, garlic and herbs but the meatballs were kind of bland. COuld this be that I used leftover cornbread for the breadcrumbs or I needed a larger onion? Maybe, I will try again. There was nothing wrong with them I just like a little higher taste kick than my first try turned out. - 12 Oct 2011 (Review from Allrecipes UK & Ireland)