Spaggy & ‘Meat’balls

  • Author: Rebecca Jenkins
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


Maximum flavour with minimum ingredients!



For the ‘meat’balls

  • 1 tin cooked lentils (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup oats or breadcrumbs (if using oats, you will need to blend them)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp Herbs de Provence or Italian herbs
  • to taste salt & pepper
  • oil for frying (or you can bake them in the oven)

For the sauce

  • 1 whole onion (white or red)
  • 1 whole capsicum (fresh or preserved)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence or Italian herbs
  • 400 g pasta of choice


For the ‘meat’balls

  1. You’re going to need a food masher/smasher/blender of some description for these ones. Whether it is a food processor, a blender, or your arm, the lentils need mashing. I have a food processor so I use that…
  2. If you are using oats rather than breadcrumbs, add only the oats to the food processor and grind up into a fine(r) powder.
  3. Then add everything else and blend into oblivion.
  4. Take heaped teaspoon size scoops of mixture and roll into balls.
  5. I have baked and fried these, both were equally effective methods for cooking the balls and making them golden and crispy on the outside, you use which ever method you can be bothered with!
  6. For frying: add about 1cm of oil to a frying pan, heat the oil and then fry the balls in batches until crispy and dark brown.
  7. For the oven: Go back in time and pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Add all the balls to a baking tray, bake for 15 mins and then give them all a swirl around and bake for a further 15–20mins — until dark brown and crispy.

For the sauce

  1. Chop and dice onion, add to frying pan/pot with olive oil and herbs and brown up. Add all the other goodies, stir lovingly while leaning over your stove, enjoying the aromas. Bring to a bubble then let simmer for 5 mins.
  2. At some point through all of this bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta and cook that.

Bring it all together

  1. Add your cooked meatballs to the sauce and gently stir to coat them all generously. Add sauce and meatballs to bowls of pasta and call all your loved ones away from their various screens to enjoy your efforts!