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Pesto meatballs with spicy tomato sauce recipe

Pesto meatballs with spicy tomato sauce recipe

18 ratings

Make a dinner to remember with a heaping portion of pesto meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce served over al dente tagliatelle. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 5 mins to prepare and 25 mins to cook
  • 401 calories / serving
  • Healthy


  • 500g lean beef steak mince 5% fat
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • ½ x 190g jar reduced-fat green pesto
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 pepper, finely sliced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 15g fresh basil, leaves picked
  • 320g tagliatelle
If you don't have mince, cut open some sausages instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    15g 21%
  • Saturates

    4g 20%
  • Sugars

    10g 11%
  • Salt

    1.1g 18%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 34g Protein 32.6g Fibre 5.1g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the beef mince, onion, carrot and pesto in a large mixing bowl; season and mix with your hands until well combined. Divide into 20 small meatballs and place on a large baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Bake for 10-15 mins until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the garlic, chilli and pepper for 3 mins, then add the chopped tomatoes and 100ml water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and bubble for 15 mins until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir through most of the basil.
  3. Cook the tagliatelle to pack instructions. Drain well, then add to the frying pan with the sauce, along with the meatballs and any cooking juices from the tray. Toss gently to coat in the sauce. Divide between 4 shallow bowls, topping each with 5 meatballs. Scatter with the remaining basil to serve.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Freeze meatballs and sauce seperately. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Meatball recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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