Recipe: Mini pork meatballs with sneaky veggies

mini pork meatballs and pasta recipe with sneaky vegetables

Twist the traditional spag bol with a dish that is delicious and rich in veggies. Hearty, healthy and heavenly on top of pasta, these mini pork meatballs with hidden veggies are sure to be a dinner hit.

Shanai at Kids Eat by Shanai has shared one of her dinner staples which takes just 40 minutes to make and serves a hungry family (4-6 serves per recipe).

The best part about these mini pork meatballs? The kids won’t even know they are eating a bowl full of vitamin-packed vegetables!

Ingredients

500g pork mince
1 clove garlic
½ red onion
½ red capsicum
1 carrot
1 celery stick
¼ cup baby spinach leaves
¼ cup parsley
2 eggs
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
¾ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated cheese (Parmesan or cheddar both work)
700g passatta / homemade tomato pasta sauce
450g angel hair spaghetti (or whatever pasta is in the pantry)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C

2. Roughly chop garlic, onion, capsicum, carrot and celery and place into a food processor along with spinach and parsley.  Pulse until finely chopped like a paste.

3. Lightly whisk eggs, add to a large bowl with paprika, cumin, breadcrumbs and cheese and mix until really well combined.

4. Add mince and use your hands to mix through.

5. Line a tray with baking paper and grease with a light spray of oil.  Roll mixture into small balls and place close together on the tray. You should get about 60 balls (if you don’t need that many, save half the mixture to make burger patties tomorrow night).

6. Bake for 20 minutes in oven.

7. Heat tomato sauce in a large pan. Once meatballs are ready, remove from oven, add to the tomato sauce and simmer gently for 5-10 mins.

8. Cook the pasta as per packet directions and then stir through the sauce.

9. Serve topped with extra grated cheese and parsley.


Thermomix method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.  Roughly chop garlic, onion, capsicum, carrot and celery and place into the Thermomix mixing bowl along with spinach and parsley.

2. Chop 10 sec / speed 8.  Scrape down sides and repeat.  Add eggs and pulse 1 sec / lid locked / turbo, then repeat.

3. Add paprika, cumin, breadcrumbs and cheese and pulse 1 sec / lid locked / turbo, then repeat.

4. Add mince and pulse 1 sec / lid locked / turbo and repeat.

5. Line a tray with baking paper and grease with light spray of oil. Roll mixture into small balls and place close together on tray. You should get about 60 balls (if you don’t need that many, save half the mixture to make burger patties tomorrow night).

6. Bake for 20 minutes in oven.

7. Heat the tomato sauce in a large pan. Once meatballs are ready, remove from oven, add to the tomato sauce and simmer gently for 5-10 mins.

8. Cook the pasta as per packet directions and then stir through the sauce.

9. Serve topped with extra grated cheese and parsley.

Mini pork meatballs with pasta are such a yummy change from the usual spag bol dinner. And, if you happen to have leftovers, then add a serving to their school lunch boxes for the morning. Here are our top picks for insulated containers to keep food warm at school.


Kids Eat by Shanai

Kids Eat by Shanai

Mum of two beautiful kids, Shanai is a whizz at whipping up fun, fabulously tasty and quick-as-a-flash meals for babies, toddlers and young kids, with a flair for pleasing fussy eaters.

Visit Kids Eat by Shanai for more healthy recipes.