This week, my house decided that we needed comfort food. It’s been a big week, after all. Our last first day of uni, the culture shock that comes with having a whole four hours of seminars, the struggle of having to actually read things. It’s been a tough one, all in all.

In an attempt to stave off the inevitable Freshers Flu, and because we decided that we needed to at least try to be vaguely healthy, we opted to cook meatballs. This came with a few issues. We’re in a new house, which is great, but we have a new hob, which is less great. And by less great I actually mean useless. It’s electric rather than gas (not something I ever thought I’d care about) which means that it takes forever to heat up, forever to cool down and basically years to actually cook something substantial.

Ingredients: We worked from the following recipe:
(We cooked for two people but it lasted for two meals, so I’m going to put the basic ingredients and quantity and hope that you can negotiate the rest.)

  • Spaghetti
  • Tomato Puree
  • Tomato passata
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 sliced mushrooms
  • 2 red onions
  • Pack of 12 meatballs / mincemeat.
  • Two cloves of garlic.
  • Carrots (we used a pack of co-op’s pre-cut carrots but three or four sliced carrots would also work.)
  • Sugar (Optional)
  • Worcestershire sauce (Optional)

Stage One:

This bit is quite simple. Add a little oil to a frying pan and heat it slightly. In our case, this took longer than it should have done due to the complete ineptitude of our hob, but in most circumstances shouldn’t take more than a minute or so. Once the oil is heating, add the meatballs, season (with salt and pepper) and wait for them to brown.

Stage Two: Prep.

This involved me wielding quite a large knife and struggling to chop onions without bursting into tears. It wasn’t the easiest task, and they weren’t sliced so much as randomly butchered, but they did the job. Basically, you chop up all the vegetables into sizes that work for you.

You then add them to the meatballs (which should be browned by this stage.) 

Stage Three:
Once the vegetables have softened (which should take about 10 – 15 minutes on a relatively high heat, depending on how useless your kitchen is) add the chopped tomatoes, tomato passata and a fair amount of tomato purée. This is where we added two spoonfuls of sugar, Worcestershire sauce and more salt and pepper.

Once everything is added, bring the mixture to a boil and then cover it with a lid. Leave it to simmer – the longer the better – and cook the spaghetti while you’re waiting. Voila! A vaguely healthy, filling meal for the inevitable midweek slump.


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