Meatballs with Spaghetti

Serves 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 400g lean minced beef (10 per cent fat)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 eating apple, peeled and finely chopped (or grated)
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • The leaves from a few sprigs of oregano or 1 tsp of dried
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for frying
  • 400g spaghetti

For the sauce

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 x 225g packs cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch sugar
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves


How to make meatballs with spaghetti

1. Mix the minced beef, onion, apple, red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper by squishing it all together with your hands. Divide into 16 smallish balls. Chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.

2. To make the sauce heat the oil in a pan, then add the onion and cook slowly for 8-10 minutes or until the onion has softened and started to go golden. Tip in the tomatoes, add the red wine vinegar and sugar and simmer very gently, uncovered, for about 20 mins. Leave to cool then blitz the sauce in a blender.

3. Heat a tbsp of oil in an ovenproof non-stick frying pan, wipe out with kitchen paper, then add the meatballs and fry gently and slowly over a low heat for 10 mins, turning them over once with tongs or two spoons. (You may need to do this in batches if your pan is not very big.) Drain off any excess fat, pour in the sauce and finish off cooking for 15 mins.

4. Bring a big saucepan of salted water to the boil, then boil the pasta for 10 minutes or until al dente. Serve topped with the meatballs and sauce.