At book club last month we had an Italian themed buffet. I whipped up my Mozzarella, Pepparoni and Pesto Boccones and I suggested my friend bring along some mini Polpette (meatballs) to which she delightfully obliged. After whipping them up in the afternoon, she told me she had actually used Quorn meatballs and as an avid meat eater, I have to say I was a little cautious about trying these veggie balls (I hadn’t actually tried Quorn since my university days!). I have to admit however, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that not only were they delicious, they were also low in points and best of all, could be cooked from frozen. I’ve been planning to test my meatball marinara recipe again for a good while now and so I thought to myself, why not incorporate these meatballs into the recipe. Not only are they tasty but the texture is perfect to be sat inside a bun with oozy tomato sauce.
The first time I tested this recipe I used a ciabatta and it wasn’t my favourite. Since then I’ve tested a few other bread alternatives and my favourites are a good old thin (for 3sp) or an Aldi Brioche Bun (5sp). Use which ever bread/bun you fancy or can get your hands on but be careful to check the points before it goes on your plate. The 9sp included in the recipe title includes use of a Warburton’s thin.
I pop the dressed lettuce into the bun however you could serve this on the side and add some other salad ingredients (such as tomato, cucumber, pepper etc) to bulk it out.
The sauce has a little kick to it but its not too spicy. If you don’t like heat, just omit the crushed chillies.
Meatball Marinara Sub
Serves 4 = 9sp per serving (for the meatballs, salad and cheese – the only points you need to add onto this is for the bread of your choice – I prefer a thin for 3sp which makes the total 9sp)
For the meatballs – 3sp per portion
1 x 300g pack of Quorn Swedish Style Meatballs, frozen (if you prefer to use meat, substitute with up to 140g beef meatballs per person for the same points or turkey meatballs for 0sp)
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
½ tsp each dried oregano, basil and crushed chillies
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 red onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
40g reduced fat mature cheddar, grated (1sp per 10g serving)
Buns of your choice (add the extra SP’s)
For the salad – dressing is 2sp per serving
½ medium avocado (around 75g flesh), stone removed and flesh removed from skin
1 tbsp light crème fraiche
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Crunchy lettuce leaf of your choice (I use romaine or iceberg), washed and roughly shredded
Spray a large saucepan with 1kal, add the onion and fry on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the onions have started to soften (add a little water if the pan gets dry). Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Next add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, crushed chillies, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add a lid and bubble for 10 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and blend until smooth. Add the meatballs along with 300ml of water, stir and pop the lid back on. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 18-20 minutes (until they are piping hot and thoroughly cooked through).
Whilst the meatballs are simmering make the salad dressing. Pop all of the ingredients except the lettuce in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add a little water to loosen the dressing to your desired consistency. Toss the dressing through the lettuce and pop into the fridge until you are ready to plate up.
To assemble, take your bun of choice, pop a little of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the bun and top with meatballs. Add a little more sauce, cheese, a few slices of red onion and a spoonful of the crunchy lettuce.