The holy grail of recipes when you’re trying to lose weight are the ones that manage to be filling, satisfying, simple to do and quick to make. Oh, and they’ve got to be low in cals. And delicious, obviously. Asking too much? No, but when you find these recipes, grab hold of them and make them as much as you can. This recipe, for giant Italian meatballs, is one of those recipes. If it was in a physical recipe book, it would be covered in splashes of sauce and the page would be folded and very well-read. 

Giant Italian meatballs recipe

Giant Italian meatballs

Serves 4 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Nutritional info per serving

Calories: 599 | Total fat: 14g | Carbs: 51g | Sugars: 14g | Protein: 58g

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500g 5% pork mince
  • 500g 5% beef mince
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jar passata
  • Handful fresh torn basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper
  • 250g fresh baby plum tomatoes

To serve:

  • 400g wholewheat pasta (100g per person) 
  • Alternatively, if you’re cutting down on carbs try serving with spiralized courgette, carrot or butternut squash.

Giant Italian meatballs recipe

Method

1. First of all, to make the giant Italian meatballs by putting the chopped onion, crushed garlic, mixed herbs, tomato puree, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a bowl along with the minced pork and beef. Then get your hands in the bowl and mix all the ingredients together. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in, you want it to be well combined.
 
2. Tip the mixture out on to a clean surface and divide into 4 even sized pieces and shape into balls. They should be the size of a tennis ball. Place in a baking dish or a deep baking tray and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
 
3. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. 
 
4. Put the giant Italian meatballs in the oven. After 15 minutes, pour over the tinned tomatoes and passata and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes until the meatballs are golden brown and cooked throughout. 
 
5. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. Cut the fresh tomatoes in half and throw into the sauce. There’s no need to cook them, you just want them warmed through.
 
6. Finally, cover the wholemeal spaghetti and meatballs with lashings of sauce and torn basil leaves, season with salt and pepper and serve. If you’ve got the calories to spare, weigh out some Parmesan (25g is 108 cals) and sprinkle it over for an extra cheesy kick.
 
Giant Italian meatballs recipe

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