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Zoodles and meatballs with spicy fennel tomato sauce


  • Prep 30 mins
  • Cook 25 mins
  • Serves 4
  • 500g extra lean beef mince
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fresh basil sprigs, leaves and stems separated
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (see note)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 410g cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 x 250g packets zucchini spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
  • Crusty bread, to serve


  • STEP 1 - Combine mince and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Using 1 tablespoon of mixture at a time, roll mixture into balls. Heat half the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs, turning, for 2 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a large plate.
  • STEP 2 - Heat remaining oil in pan over medium heat. Add basil stems, sliced fennel and onion. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add fennel seeds, chilli and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • STEP 3 - Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and 1⁄2 cup water. Bring to the boil. Add meatballs. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce thickens. Discard basil stems.
  • STEP 4 - Meanwhile, cook zucchini spaghetti following packet directions. Drain. Add to sauce. Gently toss to coat. Divide meatball mixture among serving bowls. Top with parmesan and basil leaves. Serve with bread.

Recipe Ingredient

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