Tagliatelle with chilli meatballs

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 21 April 2010.
Tagged: dinner, healthy cooking, healthy heart, healthy recipe, low salt, meat, medium complexity, pasta

  • Ready In: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 35 minutes
  • Serves: 4-6
Tagliatelle with chilli meatballs

We used tagliatelle - long strips of egg pasta - for this dish, but you could use any egg pasta such as fettuccine or the wider pappardelle - or even spaghetti if that's the family favourite. Or for added health benefits, toss in half a cup of cooked lentils or chick peas into the tomato sauce.

Recipe from Zest: the Nutrition for Life Cookbook by Catherine Saxelby and Jennene Plummer. 


  • 500g lamb or beef mince
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano or parsley
  • 1 long red chilli, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 375 g tagliatelle or other long pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup reduced-salt chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Nutrition per serve

One serve (including a generous serve of salad) = 2640kJ (630 cals), 22g fat (included 5 g saturated fat), 8g fibre, 65g carbohydrate (includes 8g sugars), 244mg sodium. Read our nutrition rating system.


  1. Place all the ingredients except the oil and pasta into a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly and form into walnut-sized balls. You should make around 24 from the mixture.
  2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the oil and cook the meatballs in batches for 4-5 minutes, turning until evenly browned. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. To make the sauce, heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan on high. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, stock, semi-dried tomatoes, paste and sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked through (add a little more liquid to the sauce if it becomes too thick).
  5. Toss the sauce through hot pasta and serve immediately, sprinkled with a few oregano leaves and a little grated parmesan. Serve with a green salad.