Simple spaghetti meatballs

Spaghetti meatballs Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes


12 cream crackers
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g (9oz) beef mince 250g (9oz) lamb or higher-welfare pork mince
1 large free-range egg
2 jars of tomato and basil pasta sauce
olive oil
320g dried spaghetti
extra virgin olive oil

To serve

Parmesan cheese (optional)


1 Bunch up the crackers in a clean tea towel, then bash to small crumbs with a rolling pin. Combine with the oregano, paprika, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add all the mince and crack in the egg, then scrunch and mix together with your hands (it’s quite therapeutic!). Divide the mixture into 16 pieces and roll into golfball-sized meatballs.

2 Simmer the hidden vegetable pasta sauce in a large pan over a low heat – if it’s a little thick, add a splash of water from the kettle to loosen. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the meatballs (you may need to do this in batches) and fry for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned all over, giving the pan a good shake from time to time.

3 Tip the meatballs into the sauce, then cover and let it bubble away for a further 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. When there’s about 10 minutes remaining, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta, toss it in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then divide between bowls. Ladle over the meatballs and sauce and serve with a grating of Parmesan, if you like.

Recipe and image courtesy of The Family Cook Book by Kerryann Dunlop, a Jamie Oliver Food Tube book, published by Penguin at £7.99

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