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National Meatball Day Recipe: Lamb & Spinach Meatballs

There's nothing better than a succulent meatball to perfect a spaghetti bolognese. Try this recipe for lamb meatballs with spinach for a twist on the classic.

Lamb & Spinach Meatballs

Warming cumin and fragrant oregano add wonderful flavour to these succulent lamb and spinach meatballs. Served with a tasty tomato sauce and fibre-packed wholewheat spaghetti, this is sure to become a family favourite.

For 4 Servings

Preparation Time

Total: 1hr 25mins to 1hr 30mins
Preparation: 25mins to 30mins
Cook: 1hr


500 g / 1 lb lean lamb mince
30 g / 1 oz fresh breadcrumbs
70 g / 2½ oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil,
for frying

Tomato Sauce

4 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
25 g / 1 oz fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
800 g / 1 lb tomatoes, cores removed and roughly chopped
150 ml / 5 fl oz vegetable stock
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
400 g / 14 oz wholewheat spaghetti
salt (optional)
pepper (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil,
to garnish


1: To make the meatballs, place the mince, breadcrumbs, spinach, oregano and cumin in a large bowl. Gently mix together using damp hands and divide the mixture into 12. Shape each portion into a round meatball.


2: Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the meatballs in batches and fry for a few minutes, turning regularly, until browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.


3: To make the sauce, add the shallots and garlic to the pan and fry in the residual oil. Add a little more oil if needed and fry until the mixture is soft and beginning to caramelize. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the basil and tomato purée and cook for a further minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring until the tomatoes begin to break down.


4: Add the stock and red wine vinegar and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until the sauce has broken down and started to thicken. Return the meatballs to the pan, cover and cook for 12–15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if using.


5: Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 12–14 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain then divide between four bowls. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti, garnished with fresh basil.

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