Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Spaghetti and meatballs & Sloppy Joes (Summer Sorted)

Summer holidays... You eagerly await them and whoop with joy when they arrive, but after a while the task of entertaining kids non-stop becomes more and more taxing. Many family activities cost a lot of money, and don't even mention going away on holidays. Our staycation in Cornwall costed us an arm and a leg, though we had a truly fabulous time. Recently Sainsbury's has launched a Summer Sorted campaign to help families get the most out of their summer holidays. This campaign runs until the 24th of August, and offers ideas to parents as well as an inspiration for simple solutions  on how to keep children well fed and entertained this summer. It also offers a practical advice on how to manage the budget with some great promotions in store.
You can read more about the campaign on Summer Sorted page.
As a foodie blogger, I was asked to test one of the tasty recipes from the campaign. I was pleased to be asked to cook Spaghetti with meatballs and Sloppy Joes.

Sloppy Joes

We eat lots of pasta, and spaghetti are always eaten with great enthusiasm.
If you haven't seen the campaign yet, have a look at the recipes and cook one of them. As part of the campaign, Sainsbury's has launched a fun competition to encourage readers and their families to upload a "platie". Take a photo of your meal (Choose from Apple Thins, Pitta Pizzas, Meatballs and Sloppy Joes, Yoghurt Buttons), then tweet an image to @Sainsburys with a hashtag #Platie #Summer Sorted for a chance to win a £200 grocery shop.

The Summer Sorted recipes include Apple Thins, Pitta Pizzas, Meatballs and Sloppy Joes and Yoghurt Buttons.

Sainsbury's have offered a budget recipe which stretches one meal into two. For example,
Tonight’s dinner - Spaghetti & meatballs
Tomorrow’s lunch: Sloppy Joes

Spaghetti and meatballs (recipe reproduced with kind permission from Sainsbury's)

Description: Tasty meatballs made from tender beef mince flavoured with herbs, served with a mixed vegetable tomato sauce and spaghetti
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4, plus leftovers for Sloppy Joes for lunch the following day

500g pack extra lean beef steak mince by Sainsbury’s
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs by Sainsbury’s
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g jar tomato and herb pasta sauce by Sainsbury’s
4 medium carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
350g spaghetti by Sainsbury’s
30g mild British Cheddar, finely grated

1 In a large mixing bowl, mix together the mince, mixed herbs and garlic until combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper then, using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 balls. 
2 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes, turning regularly, until golden all over.
3 Drain off any excess from the pan, then pour in the pasta sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes. If the sauce is a little thick, add a few tablespoons of boiling water. 
4 While the sauce is simmering, bring a medium pan of water to the boil, add the carrots and cook for 7 mins until tender, adding the celery to the pan for the final 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain then stir into the pan with the meatballs.
5 Meanwhile, fill another large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender. Drain.
6 Divide the spaghetti between bowls, top with the meatballs and tomato sauce, and serve scattered with the Cheddar.

I have slightly adapted the recipe by cooking the chopped carrots and celery with the meatballs, as I like them slightly caramelised rather than just boiled. You can add a bit of water while they're cooking in the frying pan. 

Cook’s Tip:
To make enough meatballs and sauce to have Sloppy Joes for lunch the next day, simply use a 750g pack mince, a 700g jar tomato and herb pasta sauce and 2 extra carrots. This will be enough for 20 meatballs  – use 12 for dinner (or 3 meatballs per person) and use the remaining ones for lunch the following day. Serve them warm in white finger rolls. 

Due to the generous amount of chopped carrots and celery, there was plenty of sauce for pasta. My family agreed that it was very tasty.

And today for lunch we had some Sloppy Joes.

Disclosure: I received a selection of Sainsbury's products to prepare the meal. 

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