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Monday, 20 April 2015

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: Spaghetti and Meatballs

The weather has been great recently and I'm making the most of it with recipes like this mediterranean chicken and my light butter chicken but sometimes, no matter the weather, I just want spaghetti and meatballs. You could make this and pretend that you're in Lady and the Tramp with some extra long spaghetti (like this (sadly out-of-stock) packet from - I love their descriptions!) or you could just enjoy it with a glass of kir, as I did. The other good thing about the weather is I'm going to the gym more regularly, funny how the lack of rain and wind makes me more included to venture out!

How's everyone been? I've got a few reports and a presentation due in a couple of weeks so things have been a bit hectic and will stay that way until May, but I've still got a new recipe for you! Once again, it's based on a Hairy Dieters recipe (can you tell how much I love their cookbooks at the moment?) but to be honest, there aren't really many healthy tweaks over and above how you probably already make them. The main difference that I notice is that you grate carrot into the meatballs to bulk them up, and even then you can't taste it in the finish dish. Oh, and water is added to the tomato sauce.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Serves 4 people, 3 if you only have 400g of mince
Takes about an hour from start to finish


500g mince beef
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, grated with a cheese grater
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml water
3tsp olive oil
200ml water
200g spaghetti

For the meatballs, you need to mix together the mince, half the diced onion, grated carrot, 2 crushed garlic cloves and salt and pepper.
Once it's all mixed together, make 24 meatballs that are about equal size (hairy bikers say walnut sized and I was googling alternatives and some are unmentionable whilst others aren't really contemporary - apparently dinosaur brains are the same size as walnuts?! Anyone have one lying around for reference!).
In a large casserole dish, sauté the onions in 2tsp of the oil until soft and then add the last garlic clove.
Pour in the tomatoes and water and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Season according to taste.
Whilst the sauce is simmering, heat a non-stick frying pan with 1tsp of oil and add the meatballs in batches to brown, turning so they're browned all over - it should only take a few minutes - when they are ready add them into the sauce and cover with a lid.
Simmer, with the lid on, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes to thicken the sauce - add a little water if necessary and don't forget to check that you're happy with the seasoning.
Whilst the meatballs are cooking with the lid off, cook the spaghetti according the the instructions on the packet.
Divide amongst 4 bowls add cheese and enjoy.

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I love to cook and this blog follows my successes (and a few failures) in the kitchen. If you enjoy my posts, or think there is a problem with a recipe then please let me know