Ultimate portion control.
As my family will tell you, portion control is something that I am not good at. These mini treats are baked in a muffin pan so you are guaranteed that everyone gets the same amount on their plate. One is the perfect size for an appetiser, and two are just right for lunch.
I love spaghetti and meatballs in any format. Baking them means that the tomato flavour from the sauce really gets into the pasta, plus you have the benefit of melted cheese on every strand.
I combined some basil pesto with my beef to get extra tasty meatballs, but you can omit it if you don’t have any.
These easily re-heat in the microwave because of their small size.
Ingredients – makes 12:
- 150g/5oz dried spaghetti
- 500g/1 lb beef mince (ground)
- 2 tbsp basil pesto (from a jar is fine)
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- 450g/16oz jar tomato pasta sauce
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan, to serve
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet directions, until ‘al dente’.
- Meanwhile, mix the beef and the pesto together. Use your clean hands to form the beef into 12 meatballs. Fry over a medium heat for a few minutes until browned all over – the meatballs will finish cooking in the oven.
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F and lightly coat a 12-hole muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Divide the cooked spaghetti evenly between the holes of the muffin pan. Scatter the grated cheddar or mozzarella over the spaghetti nests.
- Place one meatball on top of each spaghetti nest.
- Spoon about two teaspoons of pasta sauce over the top of each meatball.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. (If you remove them from the pan too early then they will lose their shape.)
- Serve topped with a good sprinkling of finely grated parmesan.