MONDAY MOTIVATION: Martina Dunne's beautiful spaghetti and meatballs recipe

Martina Dunne


Martina Dunne


Martina Dunne's beautiful spaghetti and meatballs recipe

Martina Dunne's beautiful spaghetti and meatballs recipe

We all know that we should be eating more fruit and vegetables every day. The recommended intake is 5 or more pieces but this isn’t always easy when dealing with kids.

Two things I do with my little brothers is allow them to choose the vegetables for our recipes and get them to help cook the food.

This seems to generate an interest in the ingredients we use and helps them to explore different foods. The two boys' favourite food is pasta so we decided to put a healthy twist on the classic spaghetti with meatballs.

The meatballs were homemade but we halved the quantity of mince and added in grated courgette and carrot to help get their 5 a day! I also substituted half the spaghetti for spiralised sweet potato.

The boys took turns grating the carrot and courgette and shaped the mix into balls. It’s important to remind them that raw meat contains 'nasties' and to not taste the mix.


For the meatballs

250g minced beef
1 courgette, grated
1 carrot, grated
1/4 onion, chopped
1 egg,

For the sauce

400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
¼ onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
Spaghetti and spiralised sweet potato (I got this in Aldi)


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/ 190 ° and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

After grating the courgette and carrot place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out excess water.

In a large mixing bowl add the mince, grated vegetables onion, egg and salt and pepper. Allow the kiddies to shape the mixture into balls and place on the lined baking tray.

Place in the oven turning after 15 minutes. Allow to cook for a further 20 mins.

Meanwhile soften the onions and garlic in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the tin of tomatoes and the puree.

Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes and then take off the heat to cool slightly. We blended our sauce with a stick blender but you can serve it chunky either.

Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions. Stir fry the sweet potato for 5 minutes, drain the cooked spaghetti and add to the sweet potato.

Assemble the dish with the pasta on the bottom, some meatballs and top with the sauce. Parmesan or cheddar can top the whole dish and adds calcium for growing bones.

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