free, serves 4


  • 400g dried penne pasta (or other short pasta shapes)

For the meatballs:

  • 250g lean beef mince
  • 250g lean pork mince
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Low calorie cooking spray

For the sauce:

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 120g baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 100g baby leaf spinach


  1. First make the meatballs. Mix together the mince, onion, garlic, sage, paprika and seasoning with your hands. Form the mixture into 24 equal-sized balls.
  2. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Working in batches, fry the meatballs until browned and set aside (don’t worry if they’re not cooked through at this stage).
  3. To make the sauce, spray the frying pan with a little more low calorie cooking spray, turn the heat to medium and fry the onion for 10 minutes, adding a little water if it starts to stick.
  4. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients (except the tomatoes and spinach), add 350ml of boiling water and bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.