Pork meatloaf, spaghetti sauce

Serves 6

  • 3 carrots

  • olive oil

  • 100 g stale bread

  • 500 g higher-welfare minced pork

  • 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano

  • 30 g feta cheese

  • 1 large free-range egg

  • 3 fresh red chillies

  • 1 onion

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 x 700 ml jar of passata

  • 30 g Cheddar cheese

  • 480 g dried spaghetti

Waiters and senior chefs used to love the meatloaf I cooked for staff lunches as a young chef. I'd use leftovers and trimmings of pork, beef and lamb, then roast the loaf and serve it with spaghetti and a spicy tomato sauce. I swear, taking pride in staff lunches on a really tight budget got me extra promotions in the kitchen. I've just used pork mince here, but feel free to use any blend of minced meat – lamb, beef and game all work well too.



Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Peel the carrots, quarter lengthways, then place in a roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm), drizzle with oil and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then use your hands to mix in a bowl with the pork, half the oregano, the crumbled feta (it's a small amount, but it makes all the difference!), the egg and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Shape into a loaf (roughly 20cm long), then, when the time's up on the carrots, make a space in the middle of the tray and add the meatloaf. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the meatloaf is golden and cooked through.



Meanwhile, halve the chillies lengthways and deseed, then put them into a medium pan on a low heat with a lug of oil for 2 minutes while you peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Scoop out and reserve the chillies, then put the onion and garlic into the pan with the remaining oregano and fry for about 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Pour in the passata, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour into the pan, season to perfection, then simmer until the time's up on the meatloaf.



Remove the tray from the oven and carefully pour the sauce around the meatloaf. Pull the carrots to the top of the sauce and arrange around the meatloaf with the chillies, then grate the Cheddar on top of it (I like to sprinkle over a few fresh woody herb leaves like rosemary at this point, if I've got it). Pop the meatloaf back into the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and delicious, and the sauce is bubbling. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain. Serve everything in the middle of the table with a salad, then slice up the meatloaf, mashing the chillies into the sauce for added heat, if you like.



Tricks & tips: The chillies add great depth to this sauce, but if your kids won't eat them, simply leave them out.

Nutritional Information

Method

Waiters and senior chefs used to love the meatloaf I cooked for staff lunches as a young chef. I'd use leftovers and trimmings of pork, beef and lamb, then roast the loaf and serve it with spaghetti and a spicy tomato sauce. I swear, taking pride in staff lunches on a really tight budget got me extra promotions in the kitchen. I've just used pork mince here, but feel free to use any blend of minced meat – lamb, beef and game all work well too.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Peel the carrots, quarter lengthways, then place in a roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm), drizzle with oil and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then use your hands to mix in a bowl with the pork, half the oregano, the crumbled feta (it's a small amount, but it makes all the difference!), the egg and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Shape into a loaf (roughly 20cm long), then, when the time's up on the carrots, make a space in the middle of the tray and add the meatloaf. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the meatloaf is golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile, halve the chillies lengthways and deseed, then put them into a medium pan on a low heat with a lug of oil for 2 minutes while you peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Scoop out and reserve the chillies, then put the onion and garlic into the pan with the remaining oregano and fry for about 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Pour in the passata, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour into the pan, season to perfection, then simmer until the time's up on the meatloaf.

Remove the tray from the oven and carefully pour the sauce around the meatloaf. Pull the carrots to the top of the sauce and arrange around the meatloaf with the chillies, then grate the Cheddar on top of it (I like to sprinkle over a few fresh woody herb leaves like rosemary at this point, if I've got it). Pop the meatloaf back into the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and delicious, and the sauce is bubbling. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain. Serve everything in the middle of the table with a salad, then slice up the meatloaf, mashing the chillies into the sauce for added heat, if you like.

Tricks & tips: The chillies add great depth to this sauce, but if your kids won't eat them, simply leave them out.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 592
    30%
  • Carbs 73.4g
    28%
  • Sugar 12.6g 14%
  • Fat 17g 24%
  • Saturates 5.8g 29%
  • Protein 34.1g 76%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • 3 carrots

  • olive oil

  • 100 g stale bread

  • 500 g higher-welfare minced pork

  • 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano

  • 30 g feta cheese

  • 1 large free-range egg

  • 3 fresh red chillies

  • 1 onion

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 x 700 ml jar of passata

  • 30 g Cheddar cheese

  • 480 g dried spaghetti