Meatballs with Wholewheat Spaghetti

To make these meatballs as healthy as possible its best to use very lean minced beef and ideally from a butcher if possible, as the fat content will be much lower and they will taste much nicer!  Delicious with my homemade pasta sauce which is full of tasty vegetables and perfect served with whole-wheat spaghetti for extra fibre and a delicious nutty taste


You will need...
Equipment

Large pan with lid, which can be used in the oven
Medium saucepan with lid

Ingredients

700g (1.5lbs) extra lean mince beef
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried Mediterranean herbs
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
400-500g special pasta sauce (optional)
250g whole-wheat spaghetti
1 vegetable stock cube (low salt if required)
Freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Fresh basil leaves 
Freshly snipped chives
1-2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil 


To make...
Serves 4-6
  1. Preheat your oven to 200/180F/Gas 6
  2. Mix the beef with the oregano, Mediterranean herbs, season well with salt & pepper
  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mix again
  4. Using your hands scoop up a small amount and squeeze together to form a walnut size ball, continue to do so with the remaining beef mixture, ensuring they are all the same size so they cook evenly
  5. If you are not using the pasta sauce, heat up the oil in your pan and brown them on a medium to high heat, turning once or twice
  6. Cook them in the oven with the lid on for 40 minutes
  7. If you are using the special pasta sauce, pour about 500ml into a large pan, gently heat up and gradually add a meatball one by one into the warming sauce, continue until every meatball is in the pan. Ensuring every ball is completely covered with the sauce
  8. Put the lid on and bake in the hot oven for 45 minutes
  9. While the meatballs are cooking, boil some water to a pan, add the stock cube and cook the spaghetti for 10-12 minutes, drain and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil add the freshly snipped chives, keep the lid on to keep warm 
  10. Once the meatballs are cooked, mix in with the spaghetti and sauce if using
  11. Serve with freshly torn basil leaves and freshly grated parmesan & black pepper
Cooks Note: The meatballs can be frozen after step 4 for up to 3 months.  Ensure that they are completely defrosted before you cook them


Nutritional Info
Per Serving
249 kcal | 7.9g fat | 2.7g  saturates | 15g carbs | 2.7g sugars | 2.9g fibre | 29g protein | 1.3g salt

 LOW CAL | LOW SAT | FIBRE | HIGH PROTEIN | FOLIC ACID | POTASSIUM | CALCIUM | PHOSPHORUS | MAGNESIUM | IRON | ZINC


Special Pasta Sauce


You will need...
Equipment

Large stock pot or saucepan with lid
Hand blender

Ingredients

2 red onions, peeled and finely diced
1 aubergine, finely diced
2 red peppers, finely diced
2 courgettes, finely diced
1 fennel bulb, finely diced
3 garlic bulbs, peeled and crushed
4 tins good quality plum tomatoes (not chopped)
Small bunch of basil
Handful of parsley
2 tbsp dried oregano
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


To make...
Makes about 1.5 litres
  1. Gently heat the oil in your pan, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  2. Add the garlic, bay leaves and fennel, stir again
  3. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Add the tomatoes, basil and oregano, season well, cook for another 20 minutes
  5. Stir in the parsley and vinegar
  6. Remove the bay leaves
  7. Remove from the heat and liquidise with your blender until there are  no lumps
  8. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary
  9. If freezing, leave to cool completely
  10. Can be stored for up to six months in the freezer

Nutritional Info
Per Serving
112 kcal | 2.2g fat | 0.2g saturates | 14g carbs | 13g sugars |  4.9g fibre | 4g protein | 0.3g salt

 LOW CAL | LOW FAT | LOW SAT | FIBRE | PROTEIN | LOW SALT | VITAMIN C | FOLIC ACID | POTASSIUM | CALCIUM | PHOSPHORUS | MAGNESIUM | IRON 


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