For the bean-balls:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 x 400g tins of Batchelors Butter Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • ½ an onion, grated
  • 6 mushrooms, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 40g Parmesan, grated
  • Salt and black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ an onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g tins of whole plum tomatoes, crushed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

To serve:

  • Spaghetti
  • Parmesan, grated
  • Garlic bread


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Thoroughly coat a large baking tray with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beans, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and garlic. Pulse until chopped but still a little chunky.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the basil, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and some salt and pepper until well combined.
  4. Roll two-tablespoon portions of the bean mixture into “meatballs” between the palms of your hands. Place on the prepared baking tray, spacing them out evenly.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until firm to the touch and light golden brown.
  6. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the garlic and tomato purée and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute longer, then add the tomatoes, sugar and basil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Carefully add the bean-balls to the sauce and simmer gently for five minutes.
  8. To serve, spoon the bean-balls and sauce over spaghetti and top with extra grated Parmesan. Serve with garlic bread.
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