Mel's Meatballs and Rustic Pasta Recipe

Serves 4


A handful of fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon of dried
12 Jacob's cream crackers
2 heaped teaspoons mustard
500 g of minced beef
1  tablespoon dried oregano
1 large free-range egg
salt and pepper
olive oil

A handful of fresh basil, chopped 
1 medium onion, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 red pepper or 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped roughly seeds removed
2x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes or chopped tomatoes with added Basil and Garlic
Two big squirts of Tomato ketchup

Oregano, optional

400 g dried spaghetti or penne
Grated cheese - Parmesan or cheddar

Put the mince in a bowl.
Add salt, pepper, mustard, chopped rosemary, oregano and egg.
Mix well with a fork.
Put the crackers in a plastic bag, cover with a tea towel and bash with a rolling pin until all broken up.
Add the crackers to the meat mixture and mix up with a fork.
Make sure your hands are washed and dry and take some of the mixture and roll into large balls - this will make approximately 8.
Sprinkle with olive oil.
Fry the meatballs in a frying pan in a small amount of oil until browned all over.
Set aside.
Add a little oil to a pan and fry the garlic and onion for a minute or two.
Add the peppers and fry until softened.
Add two cans of chopped tomatoes with basil and garlic or tomatoes with oregano (If using plain chopped tomatoes add basil and oregano here).
Add salt, pepper and my secret ingredient - two large squirts of tomato ketchup.
Add the meatballs to the mixture and simmer
Cook until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through - this will take approximately 15/20 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to the instructions. 
Place pasta in a dish, add sauce then the meatballs.
Top with chopped basil, cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
I think I need to work on my presentation skills


  1. This looks really tasty and easy to make. I'm going to try this as soon as I can. (Jeremy)

    1. If you like it a bit spicier you can add chillies to the meatballs, finely chopped.

  2. I love this recipe. We are big fans of meatballs and pasta. Since going gluten free it is hard to suffer pasta as a lot of them do not cook nicely, so a good recipe is always in order. I shall have to give this one a go!

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. It looks so good will have to give this a try

  4. Oh wow this sounds super yummy, I love making veggie meatballs with soya mince but I have never added mustard or crackers to the sauce before so this is something to try for sure.

    Thanks so much for sharing
    Laura x

    1. The crackers make it very tasty actually, and the mustard adds extra flavour.

  5. Oh these look so scrummy Mel! I haven't yet today though, so my tummy is rumbling now :P

    1. Make sure you eat Sara! Now that's a mum talking lol

  6. I can just imagine serving these up and going well what are these - Mel's meatballs! They sound scrummy! x

  7. There really is something about a good meatball recipe. One of my favourites :). Thank you for linking to PoCoLo and for your support this year :) x