The meatballs and sauce are suitable for freezing without the pasta.

Pork and lemon meatballs with tagliatelle

30 minutes
4 servings
  • Preparation time:
  • Cooking time:
  • Total time:

Our juicy and Free meatballs are absolutely fabulous in this rich and savory tomato sauce. If you can’t find lean pork, you can use 95% lean ground turkey, chicken or beef instead.
  • Ingredients
  • Method


Cooking spray*
2 large red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 (26.48-oz.) box passata (strained tomatoes) or 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 lb. 25% lean ground pork
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano, plus a few small leaves to serve
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
12 oz. dried tagliatelle pasta
*Up to 10 short sprays of any cooking spray are Free. After that, count ½ Syn for every additional 5 sprays.


  1. Spray a large, heavy saucepan with cooking spray* and place over medium heat. Add the red onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to get tender.
  2. Scoop half the red onion mixture into a medium bowl. Stir the passata or crushed tomatoes into the remaining onions in the pan, then raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. Add the pork, egg yolk, chopped oregano, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste to the onions in the bowl and mix together well with your hands. Shape into 24 rough meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. (You can make more or fewer if you want—just remember they’ll take a bit longer to cook if they’re larger.) Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
  4. Broil the meatballs 4–6” from the heat source for 5 minutes. Drain away any cooking juices, turn the meatballs and broil for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Drop them into the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. While you are browning the meatballs, add a pinch of salt and the tagliatelle to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and return to the cooking pot. Cover to keep warm.
  6. Divide the pasta among 4 heated bowls. Add meatballs and sauce to each and scatter with oregano leaves, then serve piping hot.


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