Cheesy Middle Meatballs Recipe

This sauce is the base for so many things I can’t even tell you! If you have the time to let it reduce for hours, then do. Top it up with water if you need to and stick any veg you’ve got lying around in it.  They go so soft and delicious, it’s hard telling exactly what’s in there so it’s perfect for fussy eaters.

The meatballs themselves are deliberately plain to let the sauce do the talking but you could easily spice them up by adding herbs or whatever you fancy. A nice variation is to use pork mince with some chopped sage running through. I’ve said it to serve 4 but with the hungry eaters in our house it usually only makes it to 2 or 3 so adjust as necessary but this amount makes about 14 large meatballs. 

Serves 4


For the sauce:

Olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, finely chopped

3 garlic cloved, crushed

300g mushrooms, quartered

3 tbsp mixed herbs

splodge of tomato puree

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 glass red wine

splashes of Wocestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar

1 chicken stock cube


For the meatballs:

1 kg lean minced beef

1 pack mini mozzarella balls

1 egg

3 tbsp breadcrumbs

salt and pepper



1.   Sweat off the onion, pepper and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the mushrooms and herbs and cook for a couple more minutes.

2.   Add everything else including the crumbled stock cube and leave to bubble for as long as you can (1-2 hours is best).

3.   For the meatballs, squidge together the mince, breadcrumbs, egg and seasoning. Push a blob flat in your palm and stick a mozzarella ball in the middle. Close the mince around it making sure there are no gaps.

4.   Cook in the sauce for 10-15 minutes and serve with spaghetti or rice!

Red Pepper Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Day-before prep for lunches is the best way to stop yourself spending £8 at Pret (no matter how good their sarnies are…) every day and then wondering why you’ve got no wine money at the end of the week. It can be hard to fit in when you get home and all you want to do is continue whatever box set you’re currently 3 seasons deep into but this one can be done in a flash. You can make a few for the week on a Sunday if you’re super organised and keep it all in the fridge until you’re ready to layer up and go! This easy red pepper pesto is full of flavour and if you choose a wholegrain pasta you’ll be full all afternoon in preparation for that marathon watching when you get in…

Serves 1


For the pesto:

Jar of red peppers

75g unsalted cashews

bunch of parsley

1 garlic clove

50g Parmesan, grated

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper


75g any pasta, cooked and tossed in olive oil

+ anything else you fancy, make it colourful!



1.   Stick everything for the pesto in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2.   Stir through the pasta and pop in the bottom of the jar.

3.   Layer up! Add one of spinach, sliced cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls.

4.   Stick it all in a bowl and smush round for deliciousness!