The past two nights I have eaten very ‘first world’ meals – lobster and homemade chips Monday and duck with dauphinoise potatoes, roasted vegetables and a homemade red wine and mushroom jus last night. However, after a day at work, the attempting some exercise, I was not in the mood to stand over a stove cooking a complicated meal! So I went for a classic and simple dish of spaghetti and meatballs. However, I didn’t use traditional pork or beef meatballs – I opted for Swedish meatballs.
I can’t stand the texture of pork or beef meatballs, they repulse me so it isn’t a meal I would normally go for, but I have had Swedish ones before and not only are they full of flavour and a smooth texture, they are so cheap!! At Asda, Scan Swedish meatballs are only £2.00 at the minute for a packet and you get around 18 meatballs per pack! I can be a food snob, I’m not going to lie about that. I’m all for a bargain with most things in life, I love a good deal and a reward card, but I cannot stand cheap food and even cheaper meat. You get what you pay for at the end of the day, and there are better alternatives out there than the usual products you would reach for in the supermarket.
This dish is so quick and easy to put together and is such a good midweek family meal – you can also prepare it in advance and just heat it through as the meatballs come pre-cooked, they just need heating up. It is also so cheap! It works out to be around £5.00 and it easily feeds four people. It is delicious and much healthier than using a jar of Dolmio which is full of salt, sugar and other additives. This recipe is full of fresh and healthy ingredients which you can chuck in pretty much any vegetables to suit your family’s needs.
Prep time – 10 minutes Cooking time – 25 minutes
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 1 yellow pepper cut into large chunks
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 mushrooms diced
- 2 fresh tomatoes diced
- 1 fresh chili finely chopped (optional – especially if you have young children)
- 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 packet of Scan Swedish meatballs
- Flash fry the meatballs to brown and heat them through for 5 minutes. Take them out of the pan and set them to one side.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and sweat off the onion, garlic, yellow pepper and chili if you’re using it.
- Season the vegetables and add the mixed herbs. Sweat down for 5 minutes.
- Add the fresh tomato and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tin tomatoes, tomato puree and balsamic vinegar, stir thoroughly and simmer for 5 minutes.
- In the mean time, boil some water, add a pinch of salt and some oil so the pasta doesn’t stick.
- Add the meatballs back to the pan and the spaghetti to the boiling water.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat off on the meatballs and strain the pasta.
- Boil some water in the kettle to pour over the draining pasta to rid it of the starch.
- Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan or cheddar.