Melting Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato, Bacon & Sweet Basil Sauce

I absolutely adore meatballs I definitely don’t think it’s the first time I’ve mentioned this nugget of information. Pasta is one of my all-time favourite foods to eat. I rarely make meatballs the same way twice, I always adapt them and adjust the ingredients to come up with different flavour combinations and variations. These are stuffed with gorgeous reduced fat mozzarella that melts in the centre and oozes out when you cut into each juicy meatball. This recipe serves 4 people at 12 Smartpoints a serving or Macros per serving 492Cal P46 C49 F11
For the Mozzarella Meatballs:

454g Lean 5% Fat Steak Mince

1 Slice of Calorie Controlled Wholemeal Bread

A Small splash of Skimmed Milk

½ an Onion Finely Diced

1 Level Tsp Tomato Purée

¼ Tsp Dijon Mustard

Salt & Black Pepper

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

1 Ball Reduced Fat Buffalo Mozzarella  

For the Bacon, Tomato & Basil Sauce:

½ an Onion Finely Diced

1 Clove of Garlic

4 Lean Bacon Medallions Diced

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

Salt & Pepper

1 Tsp Sweetener

A Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
To Serve:

240g Dried Weight Wholewheat spaghetti (60g dried weight per person) 

Break the Slice of bread up into small pieces & soak in a mug with the milk for 5 minutes, this will ensure the meatballs stay moist & juicy while cooking. Squeeze the milk gently out of the bread and add the breadcrumbs to a bowl with the rest of the Meatball ingredients except the mozzarella, Mix well but lightly, try to keep the meatball mix as light as you can, if you squash it about too much your meatballs will turn out dense & heavy. Evenly divide the Mozzarella ball into 16 equal sized pieces. Gently shape the mince into 16 evenly sized Meatball shapes, flatten each one as you go & press the mozzarella chunck into the centre and refold the mince around the mozzarella enveloping it in the middle of the meatball ensuring it’s fully enclosed in the mince and there are no gaps where the melty cheese might escape. Place the meatballs into an ovenproof dish or baking tray that you have sprayed with spray oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 200c for approximately 25 minutes or until fully cooked through (different ovens vary, mine takes 25 minutes it’s a fan assisted electric oven but check to see & give them a bit longer if needs be). Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions in boiling salted water (always salt your pasta cooking water & it helps to add the salt after the water has already boiled or it will slow the boiling process down, also make sure your water is boiling well before you add the pasta) To make the sauce, lightly fry the diced onion in a pot sprayed with spray oil for approximately 5 minutes until the onion is softening then add the diced bacon medallions until cooked. Add the crushed garlic & cook for a further 30 seconds or so. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients except for the fresh basil & simmer for 15 to 25 minutes over a low heat. I like to chop through the plum tomatoes with a shatp knife whilst still in the can to chop them through before adding. When the Meatballs are ready to serve pop them into the tomato sauce & tear the fresh basil leaves into the sauce & gently stir through. Drain your pasta & Serve topped with the Meatballs & Sauce and Enjoy!

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