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


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 & you could add a lovely helping of Parmesan to top it all off for an extra Smartpoints, 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 Onion Finely Diced

1 Level Tbsp of Sundried Tomato Pesto

¼ Tsp Dijon Mustard

Salt & Black Pepper

1 Tsp Dried Oregano 

For the Tomato & Basil Sauce:

½ an Onion Finely Diced

1 Clove of Garlic

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

Salt & Pepper

1 Tsp Sweetener

A Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves

To Serve:

240g Dried Weight Wholewheat spaghetti (60g dried 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. 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. Gently shape into 16 evenly sized Meatball shapes & place 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. 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. 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 parmesan if using) and Enjoy!  

Creamy Chicken & Chorizo Risotto

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I love Risotto, there’s something very comforting about a warm creamy bowl of rice bursting with masses of flavour. It has a bad rap for being tricky to make but it’s really not all that hard just a little bit time consuming with all the stirring but so worth the effort. Chicken & Chorizo are a flavour combination made in heaven & the basil & parmesan lift this dish to another level! You would never guess this is a skinny version coming in at just 12 Smartpoints ( 11 Smartpoints on No Count or 11 Propoints or 9 Propoints on the Filling & Healthy plan) Enjoy!

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Serves 4

  • 240g Arborio Rice
  • 2 Chicken Fillets diced into small chunks
  • 120g Chorizo Sausage, skin removed & finely sliced
  • 1/2 Large Onion diced
  • About 1 & 1/2 litres Chicken Stock made with 1 Stock cube
  • 40g Grated Parmesan
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Handful of Piccolini Basil (or normal Basil will do)
  • Salt & Pepper

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Put a medium pot of boiling water onto the heat and add your Chicken Stock cube. Keep the stock simmering on a low heat the entire time. In a large pot, gently dry fry the Chorizo over a medium heat for around 5 mins until the natural oil is released. Remove from pan & place in a bowl, set aside. Gently fry the Chicken Pieces in the Chorizo Oil for 5/8 mins until cooked through. Place in the bowl with the cooked Chorizo & set aside.

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Fry your onion for 5 mins in the same pan until soft & add the rice, fry for approx 4mins until rice grains go slightly translucent with a white centre. Crush your garlic into the pot & fry for 30 secs. Add a ladel of stock & you can add the cooked Chicken & Chorizo back into the pot at this stage. Season with Salt & Pepper. Keep stirring regularly as this massages the starch from the rice & continue adding the stock a ladle at a time making sure that all the previous stock is absorbed before adding the next ladle (when you drag the wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot the Risotto should stay parted for a few secs, this is how you know the previous stock has been absorbed.)

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The Rice will take approx 20mins to cook through. You don’t need to add all the stock just as much as it absorbs in the cooking time. Take off the heat. Add your grated Parmesan & Basil, stir and cover with a lid and allow to rest for 5 minutes & Enjoy!