Italian spaghetti and meatballs

Italian spaghetti and meatballs

  • serves 8
  • Easy

This is a classic Italian staple that you can cook and eat now, or freeze for later. Just serve them simply with pasta for a delicious quick dinner during the week



  • olive oil
  • onions 2, diced
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • fennel seeds 2 tsp
  • milk 50ml
  • soft breadcrumbs 100g 
  • beef mince 1kg
  • eggs 2, beaten
  • chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g tins
  • passata 300ml
  • chilli flakes a pinch (optional) 
  • bay leaf 1
  • golden caster sugar 1 tbsp
  • red wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • cooked spaghetti to serve
  • oregano a few leaves (optional)


  • Step 1

    Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes or until soft. Add half the garlic and all the fennel and cook for another 2 minutes, then allow to cool. Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs.

  • Step 2

    Tip the beef mince, the cooled onion mix, the breadcrumbs and eggs into a large bowl. Season really well and mix. Divide into 56-60 portions of 1 heaped tsp each and roll each into a small meatball. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a clean frying pan and fry the meatballs until they are browned all over. Do this in batches and scoop out onto a plate when they’re brown.

  • Step 3

    Fry the remaining garlic in a drizzle of oil, add the chopped tomatoes, passata, chilli flakes, bay leaf, sugar and vinegar, and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Season well.

  • Step 4

    Stir the meatballs into the sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Allow to cool completely, tip into containers and freeze.

  • Step 5

    To reheat, defrost completely in the fridge, tip into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes on a very low heat, stirring very gently every now and then so you don’t break up the meatballs. Serve with cooked spaghetti, and scatter with oregano if using.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 482
  • Fat 26.1g
  • Saturates 9.8g
  • Carbs 28.7g
  • Fibre 2.7g
  • Protein 31.8g
  • Salt 0.9g