The hubbie and I love pasta so I’m always looking for new quick and easy pasta sauces to add to my repertoire. Whilst watching James Martin’s new cooking show this week (he is travelling around American making all sorts of amazing looking dishes), we both watched with our mouths watering as he rustled up a Bloody Mary pasta with prawns. Of course, being James Martin, the dish was loaded with butter and oil and not Weight Watcher friendly in the slightest, but it did give me the inspiration to cook up my own healthy version of the dish.
I set out plotting what I would put in my recipe and then started testing it and I have to say, we were both blown away with the results. Whilst a tomato based sauce, it got a different flavour to any of my other pasta sauces. The capers and vodka really add something special to the dish.
If you don’t fancy meatballs with this, feel free to replace with prawns or chicken. Just make sure you dice up the chicken and cook thoroughly in the sauce. If you are having prawns, add them to the sauce five minutes before the end of cooking. If you have the chicken or prawns, the sauce is 4sp per serving, 9sp if served with the pasta/
I’ve made this a couple of times now. The first time I served it with penne. The second time I swapped my pasta for butternut squash noodles and it was just as tasty and makes the dish only 7sp per serving.
Bloody Mary Meatballs
Serves 2 = 12sp per serving (Flex) or 7sp per serving with BNS noodles
1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
2 sticks of celery, ends removed and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Tabasco (or less if you don’t like things too spicy!!!)
1 tsp capers
½ chicken stock cube
Handful of basil, shredded
1 tbsp parmesan, finely grated
6 lean beef meatballs (5% fat) – I got these in Aldi in a pack of 12 which I split in two and froze half
100g dried pasta (I used penne)
Spray a large sauce pan with 1kal. Add the red onion and celery and fry on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until the onion starts to soften (add a little water to the pan if it gets a bit dry). Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Next add the chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, capers, chicken stock cube and vodka to the pan. Stir and then flambé the vodka (I use a candle lighter – this burns off the alcohol however it doesn’t always flame as we aren’t using much vodka here). Add 300ml boiling water to the pan along with the raw meatballs, cover the meatballs with the sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes (until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has reduced and thickened nicely).
Pop the pasta on to cook after the sauce has been simmering for 10 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pasta and add to the sauce with a drop of the pasta water. Add the basil, parmesan and juice of half the lemon. Combine everything and simmer for another few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.