Spaghetti and meatballs with hidden vegetables

A traditional pasta dish that warms the heart.
recipe, pasta, meatballs
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Recipe from: 29 September 2015
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 30 min


  • 500
    lean beef mince
  • 1
    small onion, grated
  • 2
    carrots, finely grated
  • 1
    large egg, lightly beaten
  • 125
    fresh breadcrumbs
  • 7.5
    ground coriander
  • olive oil, for frying
  • spaghetti, to serve
  • grated Parmesan and fresh basil, to serve
  • SAUCE:
  • 1
    onion, chopped
  • 2
    garlic, crushed
  • 1
    stick celery, chopped
  • 3
    courgettes, finely grated
  • 1
    red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2
    cans Italian plum tomatoes
  • 250
    vegetable stock
  • 15
    tomato paste
  • 100
    red lentils
  • 5
    dried basil
  • 3
    dried oregano
Servings: Change Serving



Mix the mince, onion, grated carrot, egg, breadcrumbs and coriander together. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roll into small balls and set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the sauce.

Heat a little oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and saute´for a minute then add the garlic, celery and courgettes and cook over a medium heat for about 3 minutes.

Add the remaining sauce ingredients, 2ml sugar, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes. Use a stick blender to blend the sauce until smooth. Add a little more stock or water if necessary.

Heat a layer of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Once it’s hot, add the meatballs, in batches, and fry on all sides until browned and cooked through.

Put all of the meatballs into the saucepan with the sauce and simmer gently for a few minutes. Serve hot, spooned over cooked pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan and fresh basil.

Text and image source: Ideas magazine

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