Serves 8
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Make your guests croon at the sight of these cute spaghetti and meatball nests that taste just as good as they look.


  • 300 g spaghetti (see tip)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400 g tomato puree
  • 2 tbsps red-wine vinegar
  • 500 g turkey or chicken mince
  • ½ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • ? cup chopped basil, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan, plus ½ cup extra

Preheat oven to hot, 200 C. Grease eight 1-cup muffin pan recesses.


In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti following packet instructions. Drain.


Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat half oil on medium. Sauté onion and garlic 4-5 mins. Spoon half into a large bowl. Set aside to cool.


Stir puree, half paste and vinegar into onion in frying pan. Bring to boil. Simmer 2 mins. Season.


Add mince, breadcrumbs, basil, 1 egg and remaining paste to cooled onion mixture. Season and mix well. Shape level tbsps mixture into balls


In a jug, whisk remaining eggs with parmesan and mix into pasta. Season. Divide among muffin holes, shaping into nests. Leave indent in centre.


Spoon 1 tbsp sauce into each nest and push 3 meatballs into each nest. Spoon remaining sauce over, sprinkle with extra parmesan.


Bake 20 to 25 mins until golden brown. Cool in pan 2 mins, then remove. Top with extra basil and serve with salad, if liked.

Top Tip: A pasta nest is made with cooked pasta, by lining a bowl or ramekin to form a “nest” shape. Sprinkle bake with sweet spices like nutmeg or cinnamon.

Photo: Scott Hawkins/bauersyndication.com.au

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