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Grate the onion and squeeze out the excess liquid from the onion. In a bowl combine the meat, grated onion, paprika, Italian herbs, parmesan, panko, egg, salt, and pepper.  

Roll the mixture into 16 even sized balls.  

Heat a large frying pan with oil. Brown the meat balls on either side. 

Turn on the slow cooker on low. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, bay leaves, diced tomatoes, sugar, oregano, and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meat balls into the tomato sauce and mix gently to coat the meat balls in sauce. Place the lid on. Cook for 4 hours on low. 

When the meatballs are cooked, cook the spaghetti in accordance with the instructions on the packet. 

To serve

Divide the spaghetti between four plates, add four meat balls on top. Spoon over the sauce. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and top each plate with a handful of LeaderBrand Wild Rocket. 

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LeaderBrand runs its own independently verified food safety programme.

The programme incorporates internationally recognised standards of agricultural production, product safety, traceability and record-keeping.

Servings per package: 2.5

Serving Size:40 g

Avg Quantity per serve Avg Quantity per 100g
Energy  38 kJ 95 g
Protein 1.3 g 3.2 g
Fat, Total 0.2 g 0.5 g
– saturated <0.1 g <0.1 g
Carbohydrate 0.1 g 0.2 g
– sugars 0.1 g 0.2 g
Dietary Fibre 0.9 g 2.3 g
Sodium 5 mg 13 mg
Vitamin A 89 ug (12% RDI*) 222 ug

Source: The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 14th Edition 2021

Quantities stated above are averages only.

*Recommended Daily Intake (NZ Adult)

timer Total time 250 mins hourglass_empty Prep time 10 mins timer Cook time 4 hours people Serving 4 people info_outline Difficulty Easy
  • 400g beef mince 
  • 100g pork mince  
  • 1 brown onion grated  
  • 2 cloves garlic minced 
  • ½ cup grated parmesan  
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs 
  • ½ tsp paprika  
  • 1 egg 
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs 
  • Salt  
  • Pepper 
  • Oil for cooking 

For the sauce:  

  • 2 tins diced tomatoes x 400g  
  • 1 diced onion 
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed 
  • 2 bay leaves  
  • 1 tsp sugar  
  • 1 tsp oregano  
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar  
  • Salt  
  • Pepper 
  • 300g spaghetti  


  • 4 large handfuls LeaderBrand Wild Rocket  
  • 50g grated parmesan cheese