Olivia Andrews’ Spaghetti ’n’ more meatballs

Only recently I discovered that spaghetti meatballs are actually an American invention, rather than Italian, as I’d long imagined.

Such a successful combination, this dish always goes down well. It is also wonderfully versatile, as you can easily cater to different tastes by serving the spaghetti with different types of meatballs or vegie balls. Without losing out on carbs, this version serves up a bit less pasta, adding in zucchini noodles for a healthy veg and ‘pasta’ boost.

Spaghetti ’n’ more meatballs (Serves 4)


250 g (9 oz) wholemeal or gluten-free spaghetti

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 quantity Beef, lamb, or veal and pork meatballs, or Vego balls (page 227 Three Veg and Meat)

2 large zucchini (courgettes)

400 ml (14 fl oz) Roasted tomato passata, or store-bought tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)

finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)


Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving ½ cup (125 ml) of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the meatballs or Vego balls for 8–10 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Remove to a bowl.

Slice lengthways around each zucchini, leaving the seeds in the centre, then cut the seedy bits into 1 cm (½ inch) chunks. Cut the edges into zucchini noodles or ‘zoodles’. (Alternatively, use a julienne peeler or spiraliser if you have one.)

Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium heat. Cook the zucchini chunks for 1 minute, then add the zoodles and pasta and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

Stir in the passata and reserved pasta water, along with the meatballs, and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until heated through.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve scattered with grated parmesan, if desired.

2½ SERVES VEG  per serve

Top Tip:

Pulse-based pasta make a great gluten-free alternative to regular durum wheat pasta.


  • 3 serves wholegrains per serve
  • 1 serve protein per serve
  • High in fibre
  •  Great source of iron + vitamins B12 and C

Three-veg-and-meat-cover1440Olivia Andrews is the culinary director for the meal kit delivery service Marley Spoon in Australia and is an ambassador for Nutritician Australia’s Tryfor5 campaign, She is the author of internationally best-selling books Whole Food Slow Cooked and Healthy Thermo Cooking For Busy Families.

Look for Three Veg and Meat  by Olivia Andrews  Published by Murdoch Books (RRP 39.99)