Meatball spaghetti with a green twist.

An amazing (and very green) alternative to the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Pretty simple and great if you have a little bit of time for cooking… can be done on a week night with a bit of meatball-rolling practise.

Serves 4

What you need…
400g pork mince
1 small onion grated or finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
zest ½ lemon
50g grated Parmesan
olive oil
1 leek, chopped
400g wholewheat spaghetti
150ml half-fat creme fraiche or yoghurt
200g fresh or frozen peas
2 handfuls of spinach
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
fresh parsley , roughly chopped

What you do…

  1. Combine the mince, onion, garlic and lemon zest with half the parmesan and some seasoning, then shape into small bite-size meatballs.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and gently cook the meatballs for 10-12 mins until golden. You can do this in the oven if you prefer in a shallow tin with a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Set aside the meat balls and gently cook the chopped leek in some olive oil until softened. Then add the meatballs back into the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti for 10-12 mins in some salted water. Before you drain the pasta, reserve a mugful of the pasta water.
  5. Add the creme fraiche/yoghurt and half the pasta water to the meatballs, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the sticky bits off.
  6. Simmer until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
  7. Add the peas and spinach, cook for a further 2 mins, then add the parsley and if you fancy a kick – a tsp of dried chilli flakes.
  8. Stir through the pasta. If needed, add a splash more pasta water to the sauce.
  9. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan and some more freshly chopped parsley to serve. (Also nice with some freshly steamed broccoli on the side.)
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