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Art Smith’s Meatballs with Toasted Oats

Serves 4-6

Art Smith has shared his healthy and delicious spaghetti and meatballs recipe with us. Be sure to check out his organization, Common Threads, in our How Cool Is That? section!


  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups ground beef or turkey
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup oats, such as Quaker brand, toasted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350ËšF.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan, then add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the beef stock and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, tarragon and oregano. Season well with salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix the ground beef or turkey, onion, garlic and paprika with the toasted oats and season with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 12 meatballs. Wash your hands after handling the raw meat.
  4. Heat the olive oil and the remaining butter in a skillet and fry the meatballs, turning them until they’re brown all over. Place them in a deep casserole dish and pour the tomato sauce over them, cover and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. While the meatballs are in the oven, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente.
  6. Serve the meatballs over the cooked noodles and garnish with the fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.