A SIMPLE, WHOLESOME DINNER FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
“This really easy beef and pork meatball recipe with simple tomato sauce delivers big on flavor. ”
COOKS IN 45 MINUTES
DIFFICULTY: SUPER EASY
12 Jacob’s cream crackers
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 heaped teaspoons Dijon mustard
500 g quality minced beef, pork, or a mixture of the two
1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano
1 large free-range egg
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
½ a fresh or dried red chilli
2 x 400 g tin of plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
400 g dried spaghetti or penne
Wrap the crackers in a tea towel and smash up until fine, breaking up any big bits with your hands, then tip into a large bowl.
Pick and finely chop the rosemary, then add to the bowl with the mustard, minced meat and oregano.
Crack the egg into the bowl, then add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
With clean hands, scrunch and mix everything up well. Divide into 4 large and balls, then with wet hands divide each ball into 6 and roll into little meatballs – you should end up with 24.
Place the meatballs onto a plate, drizzle with oil and jiggle about to coat, then cover and place in the fridge until needed – this will help to firm them up.
Pick the basil leaves, keeping any smaller ones to one side for later. Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic, and trim and finely slice or crumble the chilli.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 7 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden.
Add the garlic and chilli, and as soon as they start to get some colour add the large basil leaves.
Tip in the the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a spoon, then add the balsamic vinegar, and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until needed, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in another large frying pan over a medium heat, add the meatballs and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through, turning regularly To check if they’re cooked, cut one opening – there should be no sign of pink.
Once cooked, add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer while you cook the pasta.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan.
Spoon half the tomato sauce over the pasta and toss together, adding a little splash of reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed
Transfer to a large platter or divide between bowls, serving the remaining sauce and meatballs on top. Add a fine grating of Parmesan and scatter over the reserved basil, then tuck in.
Grass-fed and organic beef is from cows who’ve spent time outdoors. Buying British veal is another great way to support sustainable beef and dairy farming. Join our Food Revolution!
If you like a smooth sauce just whiz the in a blender – just give it chance to cool slightly before you do.
WITH SMASHED SWEET POTATOES
“Comforting and delicious, this is a great meat-free dinner idea or, without the killer croutons, it makes a damn fine side with roasted meats. ”
COOKS IN1H 25M
2 red onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
2 large carrots
1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 level teaspoon cumin seeds
1 level teaspoon dried chilli flakes
6 medium sweet potatoes
1 x 700 ml jar of passata
2 x 400 g tins of mixed beans
100 ml quality BBQ sauce
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
½ a loaf of ciabatta or stale bread
40 g Cheddar cheese , optional
fat-free natural yoghurt , to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the chilli. Peel and chop the carrots. Put all these into a large roasting tray and place on a medium heat with a lug of oil, the paprika, cumin and chilli flakes. Cook for 20 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, scrub the sweet potatoes clean, then rub them with a little oil, sea salt and black pepper, place on a baking tray and put aside.
When the time’s up, stir the passata into the tray, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour it in along with the beans (juice and all). Drizzle over the BBQ sauce, season lightly and stir well.
Pick and roughly chop the rosemary leaves, toss in a little oil and sprinkle over the top, then place in the oven for around 1 hour, or until bubbling, baked and gorgeous, adding a splash or two of water to loosen, if needed.
Put the tray of sweet potatoes into the oven for the same amount of time, or until soft and cooked through.
Around 20 minutes before the beans are ready, tear the bread into rough chunks and toss with a drizzle of oil in a roasting tray.
Grate over the Cheddar (if using), then place on the bottom shelf of the oven for around 15 minutes, or until crispy and golden, to make croutons.
Remove everything from the oven, tear up or squidge open the potatoes, and serve with the beans, dollops of yoghurt and the homemade croutons to mop up that delicious sauce, with a simple green salad on the side.
Eating well doesn’t have to be costly – these clever everyday recipes are affordable, family-friendly and nutritionally balanced. Join our Food Revolution!
Tomato & spinach salad, chipotle dressing
- CHIPOTLE DRESSING
- 2 teaspoons chipotle Tabasco sauce
- 2 limes
- TOMATO SALAD
- 4 spring onions
- 1 bunch of fresh coriander
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 5 large mixed-color tomatoes
- 50 g baby spinach
- 6 large free-range eggs
- olive oil
- 20 g Parmesan cheese
- Measure the Tabasco into a jam jar, then squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and add a good pinch of black pepper.
- Put the lid securely on the jar and shake well. Cut the remaining lime into wedges, and put aside.
- On a chopping board, trim and finely slice the spring onions, and pick and roughly chop the coriander leaves, then scrape into a large bowl, reserving a little coriander for later.
- Add the red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt, then mix together well.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and spinach then add to the bowl and mix again.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl or jug, add a splash of water, season lightly with salt and pepper, then whisk with a fork until well combined.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 26cm non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, pour a quarter of the egg into the frying pan, swirling and tilting so that it covers the whole base of the pan.
- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the omelette is just set – when the omelette is nearly ready, finely grate and scatter over a quarter of the cheese.
- Slide the omelette onto a serving plate, spoon a quarter of the salad down the middle, then roll it up.
- Spoon over some of the chipotle dressing and garnish with the reserved coriander leaves, then serve immediately with lime wedges for squeezing over. Repeat with the remaining mixture, serving as and when ready.
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Finished with oregano & Parmesan
- 400 ml organic vegetable stock
- 150 g quick-cook polenta , plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
- 40 g Parmesan cheese , plus extra to serve
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- olive oil
- PESTO DIP
- 50 g pine nuts
- ½ a clove of garlic
- 50 g Parmesan cheese
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Bring the stock to the boil and slowly whisk in the polenta, stirring constantly. Add a pinch of sea salt and, after a few minutes, once thickened, finely grate in the Parmesan and stir in the oregano.
- Pour into a greased and lined 20cm square tin and pop in the fridge to chill and firm up, about 1 hour.
- For the dip, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan, then tip into a food processor. Crush in the garlic and grate in the Parmesan, measure in 60ml of extra virgin olive oil, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined but still coarse. Season to taste, and scrape into a serving bowl.