Fabulously Chunky Pesto Meatballs in a Homemade Tomato & Basil Sauce with Spaghetti

Skinny Jeans and the Inbetweens


Spaghetti & Meatballs the food of Champions! What’s better than leisurely twirling your fork round and round in mounds of golden spaghetti that is glossy with tomato sauce & a big chunky meatball to go alongside, Bliss! These Meatballs have real Italian flavour with the Sundried Tomato Pesto & Basil giving fabulous flavour & the Milk Soaked Bread keeps the Meatballs lovely and Juicy & Moist all accompanied by Succulent Juicy Plum Tomato Sauce & a lovely helping of Parmesan to top it all off, Yummy. This serves 4 people at 10 Smartpoints (1 Smartpoint on No Count or 11 propoints or 1 if you’re following the Filling & Healthy plan if you use Whole wheat spaghetti & bread from the filling & healthy list).  

For the Meatballs:

454g Lean 5% Fat Steak Mince

1 Slice of Calorie Controlled Wholemeal Bread

A Small splash of Skimmed Milk

½ an…

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Easy Cheesy Healthy Bolognese Pasta Bake

  I’m quite adept at coming up with ideas to use up leftovers & I had leftover mince, cheese & thyme from last night’s dinner so this is what was made. I always have a few staples & tinned plum tomatoes always inhabit my larder so this was a very easy healthy & quite a filling choice. Pasta is always my go to comfort food, it’s extremely versatile & incredibly satisfying to the tummy. Bolognese is always so packed with flavour & tasty be it served with spaghetti & cheese or baked in the oven in this gorgeous pasta bake. This serves 4 hungry people at 10pp a portion (1pp on F&H). Dinner is sorted! Here’s the Skinny:   400g Lean 5% Fat Beef Steak Mince

1 Onion Finely Diced

2 Large Carrots Finely Diced

2 Sticks of Celery Finely Diced

1 Red Pepper Diced

1 Clove of Garlic Crushed

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

A Few Spigs Fresh Thyme Leaves 

A Handful of Fresh Basil 

Salt & Black Pepper 

240g Dried Pasta Shapes

30g Reduced Fat Grated Cheddar

30g Reduced Fat Grated Mozzarella  Start by making the Bolognese sauce, this is not difficult in the slightest but it does require time to simmer down & thicken into a glossy flavour filled sauce otherwise the sauce will be watery & not as flavoursome. Heat a large pot over a medium heat & spray with oil. Add the onion & fry for approximately 5 minutes until softening. Add in the carrots, pepper & celery & fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the mince & cook until browned through. Add the garlic & cook for a further minute. Add in the tomatoes chopping them with a sharp knife once in the pot. Add the purée, the rest of the herbs (except the basil) & salt & pepper. Cook over a medium low heat uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally until the Bolognese is thick & glossy. Meanwhile prepare the pasta according to packet instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water.   Just before adding to the bake tear the basil leaves into the bolognese & stir through. Place the cooked pasta shapes & Bolognese in an ovenproof dish & top with the grated cheese. Place in a preheated oven at 180c for about 30 minutes. Serve & enjoy!  

Homely Comforting Simple & Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

  
Is there anything more comforting than Spag Bol? Homely & Humble, we all have a recipe for this family favourite. It’s just so Tasty, Cheap to make & the Epitome of Comfort Food, Simple & loved by all young & old it’s a real crowd pleaser. This is my low fat version. Spag bol doesn’t require much effort but it does require one important ingredient & that is time. It’s easy to throw together but it’s essential to allow it to reduce down into a flavoursome, glossy, thick ragu. I’m often asked how to stop spag bol from being watery & tasteless & the answer is time, time & patience. This needs simmering on a low heat for a minimum of at least an hour after preparing but I’ve been known to simmer this baby for up to 4 hours & it just gets better & better with age. This serves 4 at just 10pp without Cheese or free on thw filling & healthy plan if you use wholewheat spaghetti (add 3pp for 30g of reduced fat cheddar or only 1pp for 10g of Parmesan)   
500g 5% Fat Lean Minced Beef

1 Onion Finely Diced

2 Large Carrots Finely Diced

2 Sticks of Celery Finely Diced

1 Clove of Garlic Crushed

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

1 Beef Stock Cube

1&1/2 Tsps Dried Oregano

A Few Spigs Fresh Rosemary Finely Chopped 

A Handful of Fresh Basil 

Salt & Black Pepper 

880g Cooked White Spaghetti 

or 780g Cooked Wholewheat Spaghetti 

(Optional) 30g Reduced Fat Cheddar

or 10g Grated Parmesan 

 Heat a large pot over a medium heat & spray with sprayoil. Add the onion & fry for approximately 5 minutes. Add in the carrots & celery & fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the mince & cook until browned. Add the garlic & cook for a further minute. Add in the tomatoes chopping them with a sharp knife once in the pot. Add the Purée, crumbled stock cube & the rest of the herbs & salt & pepper except the basil. Cook over a low heat uncovered for at least an hour stirring occasionally. Meanwhile prepare the spaghetti according to packet instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Just before serving tear the basil leaves into the bolognese & stir through. Serve on top of the cooked spaghetti with the grated cheese if desired & enjoy!