The OG of romantic meals, spaghetti and meatballs made its debut as the number one cutesy couples meal in the Disney classic Lady and the Tramp. Remember the moment when bourgeoisie spaniel Lady fell for loveable mutt Tramp over a plate of spaghetti… we can all relate, right?
It’s the perfect Valentine’s meal, so if you’re looking to impress that someone special with a cosy night in and a home cooked dinner, honey this recipe is the one. It’s pretty easy; everything can be prepped, chucked in a couple of saucepans and left to cook, and the ingredients are nothing fancy. Surely you can take half an hour out of your night for your one and only bae. 💕
It might be a special occasion to go all-out on the effort, but there’s no need to go all-out on the calories too – this recipe comes to about 520 calories per person. That’s nothing, especially when you’re gonna be working those calories off later tonight, if ya know what I mean…
So, this is how I did it…
1. In a large bowl, smush together the mince and a handful of the chopped onion with some seasoning until everything is mixed in. It’s a gross job, but someone’s gotta do it!
2. Shape the squishy mince mixture into eight balls (pfft, the innuendo writes itself…), add to a hot frying pan spritzed with cooking spray and brown them off on a medium-high heat for a few minutes – try not to burn, it ruins the effect…
3. Pour half a tin of chopped tomatoes and half a carton of passata into a saucepan with the rest of the chopped onion, add the browned meatballs and whack it on a medium heat for, oh, say, around 15 minutes or so. Don’t forget to season!
4. Around the same sorta time, cook the spaghetti in a pan of salted boiling water according to packet instructions – usually takes around 12 minutes.
5. Leave things to cook. Go make yourself look pretty or something 💄 By time you come back, it’ll all be ready to be served, just in time for your loved one to walk through the door and be pleasantly surprised!
It’s pretty straightforward. I’ll be honest, unlike most of my other recipes there isn’t a whole lot of leeway with this one. But there are a few adjustments you can make, of course. You can bulk it up by topping with cheese (it’s a special night, after all), or you could make it even healthier by using turkey mince instead of beef for a leaner option. But, you know, who wants a skinny meatball?!
250g Lean Beef Mince – Butcher’s Selection Northern Ireland Beef Mince 12% Fat – £1.89 – ASDA
1 Medium Onion – Brown Onions – 15.8p – Tesco
200g (half a tin) Chopped Tomatoes – Simply… Chopped Tomatoes – 29p – Lidl
200g (half a carton) Passata – Smartprice Passata – 35p – ASDA
150g Wholewheat Spaghetti – Wholewheat Spaghetti – 55p – ASDA
Throw in a decent handful of dried basil, salt and pepper when mixing the mince and onions so your meatballs have plenty of flavour (you could even add some chilli flakes for an extra kick!) and don’t forget to add some garlic flakes, mixed herbs, salt and pepper to the tomato sauce as it cooks.