So here we have our take on the classic spaghetti meatballs, not only is this a nourishing meal, it’s also absolutely delicious, quick and simple to make and the kids can get involved too!
We use lean, organic beef mince for our meatballs because it's a mineral rich source of protein and low in saturated fat. The vegetables included in the meatballs and sauce contribute to lots of plant-based fibre and nutrition. You can serve this dish the traditional way, with whole wheat or gluten-free spaghetti. Or for even more nutritional value we serve it with courgetti spirals and noodles, whatever your preference, these are SO delicious!
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit many specific dietary requirements.
Lean Beef and Rosemary Italian Meatballs
PREPARATION 30 MINUTES
COOK 30 MINUTES
TOTAL 1 HOUR
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs
- 1 onion -finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic -finely sliced
- 2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil -extra virgin
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- 1 red onion -finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic -crushed
- 500g lean beef mince
- 1 free-range or organic egg
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- Black pepper-to taste
Lemon Courgette Noodles
- 300g raw courgette noodles
- 150g noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ lemon juice and zest
Start with the tomato sauce:
- Peel and finely dice the onion and garlic.
- Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and garlic. Cook for around 7 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden.
- Stir in the mixed herbs for a few minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes.
- Season with a tiny pinch of pepper, then continue to simmer for around 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves.
Prepare the meatballs:
- Finely chop the onion and garlic.
- Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil in a stainless-steel saucepan over a gentle heat, add the onions and garlic. Cover and sweat for 4 minutes until soft and a little golden and allow to cool.
- Place the cold, sweated onions and garlic in large mixing bowl with the lean beef mince, egg and seasoning.
- Wash your hands well and squeeze the mixture to combine all of the meatball ingredients.
- Roll it into approx. 24 round golf ball sized meatballs and set aside until ready to cook.
- To cook, place a little olive oil in a large non-stick pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs for about 5-10 minutes or until brown, turning to cook on both sides.
- Once the meatballs are almost cooked, pour over the tomato sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked firm.
Prepare the Noodles:
- Spiralise the courgette using a spiraliser.
- Cook the noodles following the instructions on the packets. Once cooked rinse under cold water.
- Place the courgetti and noodles in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and zest for a fresh, zingy flavour.
- With finely grated cheese of your choice.
- With courgetti noodles.
- With a simple green salad for a lunch option.
Simply omit the egg.
Replace the onion with finely diced fennel in the sauce and omit in the meatballs.
Replace the garlic with a teaspoon of ground cumin and a pinch of cayenne in the sauce and the meatballs.
Simply swap the wheat noodles for gluten-free pasta or quinoa.