ChompTimesNom! Spaghetti con Polpette di Tonno al Pomodoro

This recipe was featured in Kitacon Invasion [2014]’s Conbook 🙂


Chompy knows I’m very proud of my heritage and as such regularly cook Italian food and keep it as a huge part of my diet. Mediterranean diets are known to be healthy but sometimes you just want to tuck into a big bowl of pasta. I compromise with this mother of all pangs with Barenaked Noodles and for an extra protein kick to recover from the gym I used their Protein Noodles. You can buy them from:

Sicilians often make polpette (meatballs) with tuna, which is low in calories and is a healthy source of fat and protein.

For the polpette:
Half a tin of tuna
25g finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic (the smaller you chop the stronger the flavour)
25g grated courgette
25g Philadelphia Extra Light
5g grated parmesan
1 slice stale bread (I use Hovis Nimble)
1 teaspoon of Italian style herbs (oregano, thyme, sage etc try and avoid basil)
Splash of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the pomodoro sauce:
80g cherry tomatoes (about 4 large cherry tomatoes)
30g tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic
Handful torn basil leaves
Water to desired consistency

1 Pack of Barenaked Protein Noodles

The above is for one person.

If you don’t want to use bread, you can substitute with oats but they might be a bit more dry. Use around 15g for 2 people.

If your bread isn’t stale, pop it on a hot radiator to dry it out while you prepare everything else. Mix all the ingredients for the polpette in a bowl and when your bread is dry, crumble it by rubbing it between your hands and mix again.


Heat 2 teaspoons (10ml total) in a small saucepan and form the polpette. The smaller and more of them there are, the faster they cook, the less oil needed. Slightly flatten them, they shouldn’t be spherical. Preheat your oven to around 140C. Lightly fry them to seal them, until they start to brown, turning often. They should be crispy on the top and bottom but not the sides, they will still be gooey. Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning over at half time.


Meanwhile, add about 3 inches of boiling water to a saucepan and add the tomatoes. When the skins start to come free, smoosh them with a spoon and drain the water and seeds. Pull the skins away from them and bin them before returning them to the hob and add more water, and smoosh some more. Keep the heat low and add garlic to slowly cook. You can add more oil if you need but I find the water and tomato does the trick. Add around 30g of tomato puree (a generous squeeze of the tube) and more water until it resembles a sauce. You don’t want it to be runny, it should just cling to the pasta. Tear some basil leaves in there and leave to simmer.


Drain the liquid from the packed noodles in a colander and rinse until the fishy smell goes away (that’s the smell of the konjac root, they won’t taste fishy). Once they’re smell free add to the sauce. Keep stirring, they will only take 5 minutes to cook.


If your polpette are ready (no longer gooey round the sides) then you’re finished! Either add them to the whole saucepan, or plate up the pasta and add them on top. Add more parmesan if desired and Buon Appetito! Just like Nonna used to make…but healthier.


For the whole recipe using the brands and measurements I did:

Calories: 362
Protein: 30
Fat: 14
Carbs: 25
Fibre: 3

Ps Kita…no words needed 🙂 Unless you want a full post, in which case request below ^_^

Smile for me,
Ansi xx


About ansistar

Ciao! Armed with a wooden spoon, I'm a 23 year old (18 at heart) Annie with an insatiable hunger to prove myself as something. Welcome to my blog where you will find details of my life and recovery and also my ChompTimesNom! recipes with my little mascot, Chompy. Stop for a coffee, why don't you? Keep smiling xx
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