ABOUT this time of year we all enjoy some comfort food - this year more than ever - and this week Charlotte has a tasty dish to feed a family without breaking the bank.

Charlotte Seddon’s recipe for Swedish meatballs with pasta will serve four and will take about 30 minutes to make.

The Leader:

Charlotte, who reached the semi-final of this year’s MasterChef, said: “This is a quick and tasty mid-week meal, and the best bit is that it works out at under £5 to feed a family of four. For those with busy hectic lives and need a quick and filling meal for dinner this will be perfect.

“Swedish meatballs have become a lot more popular recently and although I’ve never been to one, I believe those you can get at Ikea are held in very high esteem! You can buy a packet of ready-made Swedish meatballs in most supermarkets, be warned they have a tendency to move about the aisles, if you can’t find them in the meat section you sometimes find them with the hams and cured meats. The main problem we have in our household is that if he sees them my husband will happily snack on them before I get a chance to add them to this dish!

“This dish is comfort food at its best, probably not the best on the calories so serve with a side salad if you want to help balance it out – although we tend to pile on the extra carbs with some garlic bread. You can also skip the pasta and serve the meatballs in their cream sauce with some veg or rice.”


The Leader:

• 1 pack of Swedish meatballs

• 325g penne pasta

• 2 anchovy fillets

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1 onion finely diced

• 1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce

• 120ml double cream

• 400ml beef stock

• Parmesan (optional)

The Leader:


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

2. Put a large pan of salted water on a high heat and cook the penne pasta according to the packet instructions. I normally remove the pasta a couple of minutes earlier than you normally would as it will cook a little more in the sauce. Once the pasta is cooked drain and reserve a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water

3. Whilst the pasta is cooking, put a large frying pan on a medium to high heat and add a splash of olive oil

4. Add the meatballs to the pan and fry for 5-7mintues until they start to colour and crisp up a little

5. Remove the meatballs from the pan and put them on an oven proof tray and put them in the oven

6. Using the same pan put it back onto the heat and turn the heat down to medium

7. Add another small splash of olive oil and add the onion and sweat for 3-5minutes until soft and translucent

8. Add the anchovies and garlic to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes

9. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce and increase the heat to high

10. Reduce the stock down by half

11. Add the double cream and bring back to the boil then reduce the heat to low

12. Add the pasta and the meatballs, if the sauce is a little thick add the reserved pasta water and mix well

13. Season with a generous amount of pepper. You shouldn’t need salt as the anchovies will have seasoned the food well but have a taste and if you think it need some add a bit

14. Bes served by putting the pan in the middle of the table to let people help themselves with a side salad and garlic bread