Midweek meals don’t get any better than my middle Eastern Meatballs with pasta and cheese – it’s super easy to make and bursting with big flavours. I often serve these meatballs with traditional Middle Eastern buttery rice and noodles but you can’t beat pasta. For this recipe I like to use Whole Wheat pasta. Obviously, use whatever you like but I like the nuttiness with the spices in the sauce. Don’t worry I haven’t gone all #CleanEating babes, far from it – Glorious Gluten Forever!
- Put the lamb into a mixing bowl and add half the allspice, pepper flakes, cinnamon and oregano. Add a good pinch of salt and mix well. Roll into 12 meatballs.
- Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add fry the meatballs in two batches for 2-3 minutes on two sides until a little golden. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
- Chuck the onions into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 10 seconds until fragrant. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and add the tomato puree, red pepper paste, the remaining spices and oregano and a good pinch of salt. Pour in 100ml of just boiled water and mix everything together. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.
- Return the meatballs to the pan and give the pan a good shake to settle them in. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are just cooked through and the sauce rich and thick.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente drain and add to the pan with the meatballs. Toss together and divide between for serving bowls. Scatter over the parsley and grate over a solid cheese blanket. Now tuck in and enjoy every bite.
500g minced lamb
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp red pepper paste
1 handful of finely chopped parsley leaves
500g whole wheat penne pasta
Parmesan to serve