Valentine’s is here! It’s time for the town to be painted red, lots of gift shopping and all kinds of love messages on social media. Personally I am not big on the ‘one-day-love-celebration’ idea. I am sure most of you agree with me, love should be celebrated everyday. In the big ways and in the small everyday things.

One way I love to show love to my family is making them a delicious meal or feast! This year for Valentines I wanted to go Italian with my cooking. I made them a really yummy pasta sauce with meatballs and Dawaat Blue label spaghetti! My kids love meatballs!

I actually never buy store bought sauces. I love making my own from scratch and sneaking in those veggies! This particular sauce had 6 different veggies that my kids would never eat on their own! The recipe contains celery, mushrooms, courgettes or zucchini, carrot, bell peppers and of course tomatoes!

A dash of balsamic gives this sauce it a little zing and the Italian mixed herbs takes it to a whole other level. The Dawaat spaghetti I used to accompany the sauce is made from 100% whole durum semolina, which is higher in protein. However it is not gluten free, therefore may not be a good alternative for people with gluten sensitivities.

So for Valentines try this delicious super simple dish for your loved ones. Enjoy the sauce as is with spaghetti or throw in some sautéed tofu or meatballs. Freeze up the leftovers and have them another day! We really enjoyed this meal on our very laid back Valentines. All that counts for me is that my family is happy, healthy and full!

[lt_recipe name=”Veggie Love Spaghetti Sauce ” servings=”4″ prep_time=”15 MINS” cook_time=”40 MINS” total_time=”55MINS ” difficulty=”Moderate ” ingredients=”For the Spaghetti Sauce: ;1 tbsp olive oil;1 onion, finely chopped;3 cloves of garlic, finely minced;1 tsp mixed herbs;2 stalks celery, chopped;1 cup chopped mushrooms;1 carrot, chopped;½ cup chopped courgette ;3 cups or 6 large tomatoes, chopped;1 tbsp balsamic vinegar;1 cup water;salt and black pepper to taste ;;For the meatballs (skip this if meat free!);½ kg ground mince;2 cloves of garlic minced;1 tbsp of rolled oats;1 tsp mixed herbs ;1 tsp salt;pinch of black pepper;” ]For the meatballs begin by preheating the oven to 180c. Mix in a bowl all the ingredients by hand together until well incorporated. Roll them into bowl and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 mins until well browned and juices have flowed clear. ;For the Spaghetti Sauce: Heat a large pan on a medium high stove. Add in the olive oil and once its heated add in the onion, garlic and mixed herbs. Fry for about 3 minutes until herbs are fragrant and onions are translucent. ;Add in the rest of the vegetables including the vinegar and water. Mix in and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. ;In a blender or processor, add in batches and process until smooth. Pour back into the pan and add in the meatballs. Reheat for another 7 minutes and remove from heat. ;Serve over Dawaat blue label pasta or your favorite gluten free pasta! ;[/lt_recipe]


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