Richie Wilson shows how a tasty, wholesome dinner doesn't have to cost the earth.


  • 500 g pasta (dry tagliatelle) €1.09
  • 400 g tinned tomato (garlic and herb) €1.19
  • 2 each fresh chili pepper €0.20
  • 500 g mince beef (market value) €1.42
  • 2 each shallot €0.16
  • 2 dash tabasco
  • 5 g fresh basil €0.29
  • 5 g fresh chives €0.39
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • seasoning
  • total €4.74


  • Begin by making your meat balls so that they have a little time to marinade before cooking.
  • In a large mixing bowl put the mince, one finely diced shallot along with half of the basil, chives and one chili also finely chopped.
  • Add to the bowl, the Tabasco, paprika, cayenne pepper and seasoning and mix well, use your hands!
  • Once you have mixed this well shape the beef into small balls about an ounce or 25 grammes each, this will give you about 20 balls or 5 each. Place these in the fridge now while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta, continue to boil hard for about 15 minutes for dry pasta.
  • Meanwhile, in a warm pan add a little oil and the second of the 2 shallots finely chopped along with the second of the chilies also finely chopped.
  • Fry these gently until they soften. Now turn up the heat in the pan and add the meat balls.
  • Gently turn them over a high heat until they are brown all over. Now add the tin of tomatoes to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Once the meat ball have cooked remove them from the pan and place in a pot over a low heat to keep them warm while you add the strained pasta to the pan of sauce. Mix the pasta before placing in hot bowls to serve; now you can add the meat balls to each dish making sure everyone gets the same!!
  • To garnish deep fry the remaining basil in a little oil and place on top, sprinkle with the remaining chives. Enjoy, a little tastier knowing it cost less than a fiver!!

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