About this recipe: This is a variation of the ever-popular spaghetti bolognese and is sure to become just as well-loved. The little meatballs have aubergine added for a modern twist, and the sauce contains all the essential flavours of a classic Italian dish. Both can be made ahead, then simply reheated when you are ready to cook the pasta.
Omit the basil and add 1 tbsp pesto to the sauce. Red pesto is particularly good. * Stir 85 g (3 oz) baby leaf spinach into the sauce with the meatballs. * Lean minced venison, lamb or pork can be used in place of the beef. * If you like a spicy sauce, add 1/2 tsp chilli sauce or a few drops of Tabasco sauce. * Use other pasta shapes – spaghetti and penne are also good with meatballs. * Instead of celery use 1/2 bulb fennel, chopped. * Serve the pasta topped with shavings of fresh Parmesan. * The meatball mixture can also be shaped into patties and pan-fried in a little olive oil, then served inside burger buns with salad and tomato chutney.
Pasta made with egg (pasta all'uova) is a most valuable food, low in fat yet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also an excellent source of starchy carbohydrate, which is why it is favoured by athletes, especially the night before a big sporting event. When pasta is eaten, the starch is broken down into glucose. This is then stored in the muscles as glycogen, which is slowly released to provide energy during exercise. * Adding aubergine and breadcrumbs to meatballs not only gives them a lovely flavour and light texture but it also increases the amount of fibre they contain. * Frying the meatballs without any fat or oil draws out some of the fat in the beef, which can then be drained off and discarded.
B1, B6, B12, C, E, niacin * A, folate, copper, potassium * B2, selenium