CHEATS MEATBALLS with Zucchini Linguine

Cheats Meatballs w/ Zucchini Linguine | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Cheats Meatballs with Zucchini Linguine

The meat balls are another recipe from my book Feeding Little Tummies. I call it 'cheats' meatballs as it is so simple to make these flavoursome meatballs using a good-quality sausage. Simply roll, cook, add tomatoes, simmer... eat. And with the addition of speedy zucchini linguine (tongue-tied yet?!) this was the perfect meal to feed the troops when we were hungry and tired after our camping excursion.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 6 good-quality beef or lamb sausages
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • approx. 6 large tomatoes chopped
  • [OR 400 g can chopped tomatoes]
  • handful of fresh basil torn
  • salt and pepper to season
  • grated Parmesan to serve


  • First prepare the meatballs. Snip the ends of the sausage casing and squeeze out the sausage mixture rolling into small walnut-sized balls as you go.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying-pan over a moderate heat. Add the meatballs to evenly cover the base of the pan. Brown off the meat by shaking the pan often to roll the balls around. Once evenly browned add the tomatoes. Simmer uncovered until the tomatoes have reduced to a rich saucy consistency, about 15 minutes. Check the meatballs are cooked through by cutting one in half, and adjust seasoning. Serve with zucchini linguine (recipe below) and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.

ZUCCHINI LINGUINE [or fettuccine]

You will need: one large marrow or four medium-sized zucchini. Using a julienne peeler (or standard vegetable peeler to create ‘fettuccine’) make long even strokes to create the linguine. Once you get to the seed (inner) part of the zucchini/ marrow, stop peeling and turn. Continue peeling the flesh until all that remains is the inner seedy part of the vegetable. Keep this for chopping into quiche or grating for a cake/ loaf. Combine the linguine with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Taste and add more lemon or salt if needed. Serve immediately. The linguine doesn’t keep well so eat it all in one sitting.

We don’t get out of town very often. Mainly because we are home bodies, and there is always plenty to do around the house and garden. However, when we received an invite to join friends camping up the Wairau Valley we decided it was about time to get out-of-town.

As we are not huge fans of crowded campgrounds this suited us perfectly… a spring-fed creek for the children to play in, two friendly horses for entertainment, composting toilets, hammocks to rest in, large poplars for shade… this is what family camping is all about. And mum even got a few moments shut-eye snuggled up with my baby boy in a gently rocking hammock… bliss.

Then it was time to pack up and head home (is it just me or do you need double the ‘stuff’ to go camping with children?). We arrived home to the garden over-flowing with zucchini and a large marrow begging to be eaten. I have been experimenting with zucchini noodles this summer instead of gluten-free pasta. This grew into a whole new level of exciting when I purchased a julienne peeler (a standard vegetable peeler works well also to make fettuccine). It is wonderfully light while filling for a summer meal compared to the often heavy spaghetti and meatballs. Enjoy!

Cheats Meatballs w/ Zucchini Linguine | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN


Cheats Meatballs w/ Zucchini Linguine | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Cheats Meatballs w/ Zucchini Linguine | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Cheats Meatballs w/ Zucchini Linguine | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN


Join the Conversation

  1. ooh where did you get that amazing peeler?! I need to get one, I have heaps of zuchinni in the garden and would love to try this recipe, looks delicious!

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Hi Alice I got it from Prego in nelson. the brand is ‘zyliss’ I imagine you can get it from most kitchen stores. Just love it šŸ™‚

  2. wow! that is so beautiful…i want to try that AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Thanks Jesselle, enjoy šŸ™‚

  3. Wow…! What a fabulous idea…! Love how little time it looks to make, and yet sooo simple…! I’ll really look forward to trying this recipe out when my little 8.5 month old son is able to grasp his food properly, as he’s on a gluten and dairy free diet due to troublesome eczema. I know that my 3 year old daughter will love this too as she’s so adventurous with her eating.

    By the way, is your new book fairly different from your first book – Cooking for your Child? (I already have this and really enjoy it).

    1. Nicola Author says:

      Hi Michelle
      My 1 year old couldn’t get enough of the zucchini pasta. Give it a go while zucchini is in season.
      Feeding little tummies is the revised edition of cooking for your child so is the same with a few extra recipes thrown in. Get it out of the library sometime to check it out.
      Thanks for your comments šŸ™‚

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