Chia Meatballs & Spaghetti in a Rich Tomato SauceMeatballs are a great mid-week meal, as they’re never too time consuming to make and they are a meal that all the family will enjoy. In this recipe, the chia gel replaces the egg in the meatball mixture. The gel gives a nutritional boost while also helping to bind the ingredients together. The accompanying sauce is rich and thick, and perfectly coats the meatballs and spaghetti. Serving with crusty bread isn’t obligatory, but quite necessary for mopping up the delicious juices left on the plate.
2tbsp chia seeds
5 tbsp water
450g good-quality minced beef
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tins tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp tabasco
1 tbsp sugar
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
75g cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh basil leaves
- Place the chia seeds in a small bowl and add of water. Leave for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.
- Add the soaked chia seeds, minced beef, red onion, mustard, tomato ketchup and breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. With clean hands, scrunch and mix everything up well.
- Using wet hands roll the mixture into about 16 meatballs. Drizzle a frying pan with the olive oil and once hot add the meatballs. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are golden brown and cooked through. Check by cutting one in half to make sure there are no signs of any pink meat.
- As the meatballs are cooking, make the tomato sauce. Heat a separate saucepan over a low to medium heat and add some olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 10 minutes until soft and slightly coloured. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for one minute. Add the tins of tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, tabasco and sugar. Season with salt and pepper and increase the heat under the pan. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next, nestle the meatballs into the sauce and pop into the oven for 10 minutes. Add the grated cheddar cheese and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the pack.
- Serve on a large platter, for everyone to help themselves, or divide the spaghetti, sauce and
meatballs between four bowls. Sprinkle over some torn basil leave and serve with crusty bread.