Nutrition : Recipes : Dinner

Spaghetti with pork and apple meatballs

A fantastic endurance and immune system booster that's bursting with flavour

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Well-balanced with plenty of sustaining, low-GI carbohydrate and good levels of protein, this nutritious supper will promote endurance and a healthy immune system to support your training.

The red peppers give the dish a real depth of flavour, and a huge boost of vitamins A, B6, C and E, lycopene, dietary fibre and essential minerals. This recipe uses fennel seed but dried oregano, sage or even a teaspoon of mixed herbs will give you equally tasty results.

Preparation time 10-15mins

Cooking time 30mins plus an extra 30mins to roast the peppers

Equipment needed Baking tray, mixing bowl, large saucepan (spaghetti), small saucepan (sauce), heavy-bottomed frying pan

Ingredients

400g spaghetti

For the meatballs…

1tbsp olive oil

500g pork mince, preferably good-quality organic

40g wholemeal breadcrumbs

2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated

½ onion, peeled and grated

1 small red chilli, seeds removed and chopped  very finely

1tsp fennel seeds, crushed into a powder in a pestle and mortar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce…

1tbsp olive oil

4 red peppers, sliced in half, seeds removed

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 bay leaf (optional)

1 small clove garlic

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Instructions

1 In a large bowl, mix together the pork mince, breadcrumbs, grated apple and onion, chilli, fennel seeds and salt and pepper

2 Form small meatballs (1-2cm in diameter) with your hands and arrange on a plate. Put in the fridge to firm up while you make the sauce.

3 Heat oven to 200°C. Place red peppers on a lightly oiled baking tray, skin side upwards, and roast for 30mins until the skin is wrinkly and slightly charred. Remove from the oven and peel off the skin. Chop roughly and keep any juices from the baking tray.

4 Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and bay leaf (optional), stir, cover with a lid and let it sweat very gently for about 10mins until translucent and soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, red peppers and any juices from the peppers. Season well with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently for about 20mins, stirring every so often.

5 Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan, and fry the meatballs over a medium heat on each side until they are golden and just cooked through (break one open to check). This should take about 5mins but you may have to do two batches, depending on the size of your frying pan.

6 Drain the spaghetti and return it to the pan with a small ladleful of the cooking water to prevent it sticking. Divide the spaghetti onto four warmed plates and then add the meatballs and pour over the sauce.

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