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British Tomato & Mini-Meatball Pasta

Make this simply fabulous pasta dish with ripe British tomatoes. It’s delicious!

  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation: 15m
  • Cooking: 45m


  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 carrot, chopped finely
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2tsp dried Italian mixed herbs
  • 600g British vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 2tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250g lean minced beef
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1tsp dried Italian mixed herbs
  • 300g tagliatelle or spaghetti
  • 20 British baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Basil leaves, to garnish


  1. For the tomato pasta sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Add the herbs and tomatoes and fry for another few minutes, then add the vegetable stock. Heat and simmer for 18-20 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is cooking, mix together the minced beef, onion and herbs. Season. Form into about 20 small meatballs. Heat a large frying pan, add the meatballs and fry gently for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Puree the sauce in a blender, or use a hand-held stick blender. Adjust the seasoning, adding balsamic vinegar, caster sugar, salt and black pepper. Set aside and keep warm over a low heat.
  4. Cook the tagliatelle or spaghetti according to pack instructions. Drain, then return to the saucepan with the pasta sauce and meatballs. Stir in the baby plum or cherry tomatoes, heat through for a moment, then serve garnished with basil leaves.
Cook’s tip: Make double quantities of the sauce and freeze half for later.
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