Pesto pasta with sausage meatballs


  • Prep Time20 mins
  • Total Time20 mins
  • Makes4 servings
Pesto pasta with sausage meatballs

Photo: Erik Putz

Sausage meatballs are your new best friend. Cheaper than beef mince and naturally seasoned, toss them with pesto pasta and your weeknight dinner is done.


  • 340 g spaghetti

  • 3 mild Italian sausages, casings removed

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup store-bought basil pesto

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan

  • basil leaves, (optional)


  • Cook pasta following package directions, until tender, 7 to 8 min. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, then drain pasta.

  • Roll sausage meat into ¾-in. meatballs and set aside. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add oil, then meatballs. Cook, stirring and shaking pan often, until meatballs are golden all over and cooked through, 4 to 6 min.

  • Add tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes just start to soften, 1 to 2 min.

  • Add pasta, pesto and reserved pasta water to pan. Toss to coat. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.

  • Divide pasta among plates. Top with more Parmesan and basil, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 674, Protein 28g, Carbohydrates 76g, Fat 28g, Fibre 5g, Sodium 895mg.
Excellent source of folate.

Make your own

For homemade pesto, combine 2 garlic cloves, 2 cups packed basil leaves, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 3 tbsp grated Parmesan, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly pour in 1/4 cup olive oil, stopping after every 2 tbsp to scrape down sides with a spatula. Measure out 1/2 cup to use in recipe and refrigerate remaining pesto in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

Originally published in the Today’s Parent November/December 2019 issue. Photo by Erik Putz.

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