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My Culinary Adventures #9: Spaghetti and Swedish Meatballs – Italian Style – with Garlic Bread

Last week, I made my first attempt at Swedish meatballs, , of which I am a massive fan. Apparently furniture stores do the best food. I’d made beef meatballs a little while ago and whilst they were okay they just weren’t the same. I had a bit of a Google to see what made Ikea’s meatballs so much tastier and found that I had to add mash potato, cream and milk. That seemed weird but I did it. It did not turn out well but that may well have just have been me. 

The sauce, however, was more successful. I made it with spaghetti instead of mash potato or chips because I wanted a little Italian twist (I am also a big fan of spaghetti and meatballs) and that the combination of the sauce and the spaghetti wasn’t terrible- particularly when I mixed in some cheese. At least I could eat that whilst my 20 meatballs went in the bin.

This week, however, I had more luck. I decided to keep it plain and simple and make the meatballs just with pork and beef mince, some breadcrumbs and an egg. I also decided to just coat them in a tomato sauce, Italian-style, as opposed to the beefy cream sauce I made before. I mean the meatballs didn’t taste quite like the ones from Ikea, or even like the packs I’ve got from Tesco, and they seemed quite fragile but the friends I made them for seemed pretty happy with the result. As was I.

I served my spaghetti and meatballs with some garlic bread. I had some garlic butter leftover from my chicken kiev but sadly it burnt when I melted it. It therefore didn’t taste great after I had poured it over the French stick. Happily, though, it worked out much better second time around (even though I had to use magarine instead)- if a little bit soggy.


Ingredients – serves 3-4 

Swedish Meatballs

  • 250g pork mince
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 onion
  • 1 slice bread
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Plain flour

Tomato Sauce

  • 400g chopped tomatos
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 onion
  • Handful mushrooms
  • Pinch mixed herbs
  • Ketchup
  • Ground black pepper
  • Mug vegetable or beef stock
  • Olive oil

Garlic Bread

  • Half a French stick
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp parsley, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove

To Serve

  • 300-400g spaghetti
  • Cheddar cheese.


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Slice and dice one onion into small pieces.
  3. Toast a piece of bread (I like to use the crusty piece at the end of the loaf but I have no idea if that makes any difference) and then tear it up and blend it in a processor to get the breadcrumbs.
  4. In a bowl, use a fork to mash together the pork and beef mince, the egg, the onion and the breadcrumbs. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle some plain flour over a chopping board. Use your hands to form the meatballs and roll them in the flour.
  6. Place the meatballs on a tray/in a baking dish and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Start making the tomato sauce. Slice and dice the other onion and the mushrooms. Fry them in some oil until they are nice and soft and then cover in some tomato puree.
  8. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and mix in a few squirts of Ketchup, the mixed herbs and a bit of salt and pepper.
  9. Mix the beef/vegetable stock cube in a mug of boiling water and stir into the sauce. Simmer on a low heat for 1 hour. Remember to stir regularly and taste, I always end up adding a bit more Ketchup.
  10. Take the meatballs out of the oven and fry each for a couple of minutes, until they are all golden brown. Then place them in the sauce whilst it is simmering away.
  11. 20 minutes before the sauce is done, melt the butter in a pan on a low heat, being careful not to burn. Stir in the pieces of parsley and crush in the garlic.
  12. Slice the French stick into 1cm pieces, without cutting all the way through, so that they are still attached. Use a pastry brush to coat each slice in the garlic butter.
  13. Cover the bread in the foil and put in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  14. Cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling water and cook for 10-15 minutes, until it is as soft as you like it.
  15. Once everything is done, serve with some grated Cheddar cheese.


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