Cooking with Kids: Spaghetti & Meatballs with Hidden Veg Sauce

Nuvita Biscuits

Teach children how to make this pasta supper – it’s a tasty family meal packed with nutrients.


For the Meatballs:

  • 300g good quality pork sausages (about 4 large or 8 chipolatas)
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 small onion , coarsely grated
  • 1 carrot , finely grated
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 50g Parmesan , finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 courgette , coarsely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves , finely grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • pinch caster sugar
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

 To Serve:

  • Cooked spaghetti


  1. Children: Squeeze all the sausage meat out of the sausage skins into a large bowl and add the mince. Tip all the rest of the meatball ingredients, except the olive oil, into the bowl and season with black pepper then squish everything together through your hands until completely mixed. Keep an eye on younger children to make sure they don’t taste any of the raw mix.
  2. Children: Roll the meatball mix into walnut-sized balls and place them on a plate – this is a job children as young as 2 can help with and a great job to help teach older children basic division.
  3. Grown ups: While the children are rolling the meatballs make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the courgette and garlic and cook for 5 mins until soft and mushy. Stir in the tomato puree, sugar and vinegar leave for 1 min then tip in the tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins. If your children like courgettes then you can leave the sauce chunky. But if, like mine, they hate courgettes then blitz the sauce with a hand blender – either way continue to simmer sauce gently while you cook the meatballs. If your child is confident with heat, from 7+ they can cook the sauce with supervision.
  4. Grown ups: Heat the oil in a large frying pan and, working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides then pop them into the sauce – continue to simmer the sauce for 15 mins, stirring very gently until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with cooked spaghetti, extra grated Parmesan and a few torn basil leaves your child has picked and torn.


Before you start tie back any long hair, put on your aprons and wash your hands. Make sure your child is stable where they are cooking and comfortable with the angle they are cooking at. As you cook explain what the different ingredients are and where they come from.


You can freeze the raw meatballs and the sauce separately after point three in the method or freeze the meatballs in the sauce once cooked. Either way allow to cool before freezing.


Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Marlon P on Feb 4, 2013

    it’s on the last page and it has mac and cheese in,1 tbsp olive oil, 1 lb boneless chicken, 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup shredded cheese. how many cals does it have or how many do you think it has?

  2. posted by Clayton Cottrell on Feb 4, 2013

    I have three chicken breast cut into strips marinading in cilantro (dried about 4 tbsp) olive oil salt pepper savory seasoning fresh garlic mashed and chopped (6 cloves) garlic powder dried onion flakes

    now what kind of dish should i make?

  3. posted by mavis24 on Feb 5, 2013

    I love making wontons from scratch and I normally make 5-8 at a time, steamed, with fresh veggies and spices. Are they unhealthy? I don’t fry them…as I said I steam them and just stir fry any veggies with a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil… How many calories are in one of the eggless variation wonton wrappers… The ones made from wheat/wheat gluten, salt, and water?

  4. posted by Heath on Mar 16, 2013

    I have a recipe for broccoli and Stilton soup…

    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    ½ onion, sliced
    30g/1oz butter
    1 handful grated potato
    290ml/½ pint vegetable stock
    ½ head broccoli, chopped
    75g/3oz stilton, cubed
    85ml/3fl oz double cream
    1 tsp thyme, chopped

    1. Sauté the garlic and onion in the butter and oil for 2-3 minutes.
    2. Add the potato and stock and simmer for 7-8 minutes until the potato is tender.
    3. Add all the other ingredients and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    4. Blend the soup in a food processor.
    5. Pour into a bowl and serve.

    …but how do I make it with the added apple? Do I just add an apple? Or do I need to dispose of the potato?

  5. posted by brincks26 on Mar 18, 2013

    Kelli’s Baked Cod in Zesty Tomato Sauce

    Serves 4 Preheat oven 400 degrees.

    4 – 6 oz. filets of Cod
    6 cups Organic Tomato Soup
    6 medium leaves of fresh Basil chopped or
    1 TBSP dried Basil
    2 to 6 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (to taste for your family)
    4 to 8 TBSP Olive Oil
    4 cloves of Garlic
    1 cup yellow Onion sliced thin and long
    1 cup Red Bell Pepper sliced thin and long
    Sea Salt and Pepper

    Pour Organic Tomato Soup into a saucepan. Add Basil, Crushed Red Pepper and up to 4 TBSP Olive Oil. Heat, but do not boil. Set aside. Take 4 oval individual baking dishes. Cut garlic cloves in half. Place two halves in the bottom of each baking dish. Divide the Tomato Soup mixture and pour into each baking dish.

    Thoroughly Salt and Pepper the Cod fillets and place in the center of each baking dish. Cover the Cod with a garnish of Onion and Red Bell Pepper strips. Drizzle Olive Oil over the Cod fillets. Bake for 20 min. Broil for 3 min. Enjoy!

  6. posted by Gamer959 on Mar 22, 2013

    Is it ok for me to continue taking a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil while I just found out that I am pregnant? I have been doing this for over 2 months each morning on an empty stomach for all the health benefits. I just wanna make sure that i am not caiusing harm to myself or my baby thats now growing inside me.

  7. posted by dealy on Mar 26, 2013

    I have used Old Bay and olive oil to make the shrimp on the grill in foil pouches. Does anyone have any twists to the recipe? I want something easy yet tastey. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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