‘Spaghetti’ and Pesto Meatballs

In my (not really) pesto-induced fury, I made some meatballs the other day. The intention was to have them as a snack food. But then I figured it’d been a while since I’d made a nice tomato-y sauce and decided to jazz up the meatballs instead. Actually, I still have them for snacks – this recipe made 32 good sized meatballs!

The idea of using sauerkraut as spaghetti though, well, that was inspired. It actually worked! Presuming you like sauerkraut. I wouldn’t recommend it if you weren’t a fan….


For the meatballs

  • 100g arugula leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 100g walnuts
  • 40g parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 60g almond flour
  • 500g ground beef
  • 500g ground pork

For the sauce

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 75g of red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 200*C.
  2. First make your meatballs, because there will be a ton of them (32!) and you don’t need all of them in the sauce for a meal for 2.
  3. Make the arugula (rocket) pesto in a food processor by combining arugula, garlic, walnuts, fennel seeds and parmesan. Process for a bit and then add the olive oil. This pesto was very dry – if I were making normal pesto I would have added more olive oil, but because it was being added to meatballs, I didn’t want to put too much olive in there.
  4. In a big bowl, mix up the ground meats (you can substitute whatever type of ground meat you have on hand here, in whatever combination). Then add the almond flour and pesto mixture and combine well. Get your hands dirty here!
  5. Form into balls. They were about 1 inch in diameter each (40g). I made 32. Phew!
  6. Put them on a baking tray lined with parchment (to save on washing up) and bake for about 40 minutes. The parmesan leeks out of here and makes really nice crispy parmesan crisps. Well, it did for me!
  7. While they are baking, you can make the sauce.
  8. Sweat the chopped onions and garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for a bit longer.
  9. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, basil and tomato puree. Simmer for a bit longer and then add the balsamic vinegar.
  10. When the meatballs are cooked, throw about 8 of these into the sauce and cooked for a big longer – depending on if they are cool or need heating up.
  11. Serve over sauerkraut. Honest.

Author: torie

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.