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Spaghetti & meatballs sprinkled with grated parmesan in a dish

Spaghetti & meatballs

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Makes about 10 servings

Get everyone to help rolling meatballs and you'll soon have one supper on the table and another in the freezer

  • Freezable (Sauce and meatballs can be frozen)
Nutrition: per serving
low insalt1.3g


  • 8 good-quality pork sausages
  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ a large bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 85g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • olive oil, for roasting
  • spaghetti, to serve (about 100g per portion)

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 125ml red wine (optional)
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • ½ a large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • few basil leaves (optional)


  • STEP 1

    First, make the meatballs. Split the skins of the sausages and squeeze out the meat into a large mixing bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Add the mince, onion, parsley, parmesan, breadcrumbs, eggs and lots of seasoning. Get your hands in and mix together really well – the more you squeeze and mash the mince, the more tender the meatballs will be.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Roll the mince mixture into about 50 golf-ball-sized meatballs. Set aside any meatballs for freezing, allowing about five per portion, then spread the rest out in a large roasting tin – the meatballs will brown better if spaced out a bit.

  • STEP 4

    Drizzle with a little oil (about 1 tsp per portion), shake to coat, then roast for 20-30 mins until browned.

  • STEP 5

    Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic cloves and sizzle for 1 min.

  • STEP 6

    Stir in the chopped tomatoes, red wine, if using, caster sugar, parsley and seasoning. Simmer for 15-20 mins until slightly thickened.

  • STEP 7

    Stir in a few basil leaves, if using, spoon out any portions for freezing, then add the cooked meatballs to the pan to keep warm while you cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling, salted water.

  • STEP 8

    Spoon the sauce and meatballs over spaghetti, or stir them all together and serve with extra parmesan and a few basil leaves, if you like.

To freeze together, mix the roasted meatballs into the sauce and leave to cool completely, then freeze in portions. Defrost thoroughly overnight in the fridge, then heat in a covered pan until the sauce and meatballs are piping hot.
To freeze separately, put the sauce into freezer bags, but open-freeze the uncooked meatballs on a tray, then wrap in cling film once hard. To cook, defrost the meatballs and cook as above, or roast from frozen at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 30 mins, then shake and increase the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 for 10 mins more. Defrost the sauce and bring to a simmer in a pan before serving.
Swap the parmesan for 1 tbsp smoked paprika in the mince mixture. Sizzle 140g finely chopped chorizo with the garlic for the sauce and leave out the basil. Serve with some roast potatoes and salad.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2010

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A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.218 ratings

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