October Dinner Recipe – our take on an old favourite: Spaghetti and Meatballs

October Dinner Recipe – our take on an old favourite: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Red meat has long been known to cause inflammation, this doesn’t mean you can’t have some of your old favourites such as spaghetti and meatballs. Here we take you through making an anti-inflammatory version of this Italian classic. Start by substituting beef for a leaner healthy meat such as turkey. Oats are an excellent source of soluble fibre and act as a prebiotic food promoting anti-inflammatory integrity in the intestinal bacteria. Maintaining a healthy gut biome can be important in keeping inflammation in check. Mushrooms are rich in anti-inflammatory components, such as polysaccharides, phenolic and indolic compounds, mycosteroids, fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamins, and biometals. The tomato is a nutritional powerhouse. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, an antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Basil contains the powerful essential oils, including eugenol, citronellol and linalool, which help to lower inflammation through their enzyme inhibiting properties. Using whole-wheat instead of white pasta increases the amount of fiber intake, there is overwhelming evidence that diets high in fiber help with inflammation.

So, it’s not a case of avoiding your favorite foods but rather making smart substitutions so that your food helps not hinders your inflammatory processes!



  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced button mushrooms (8 ounces)
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp Italian mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ pounds lean turkey mince


Pasta & Sauce:

  • 6 ounces whole-wheat linguine
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 ½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 ounce) no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil





  1. On medium heat, heat oil in a medium skillet. Add mushrooms; stirring occasionally, cook until tender and all of the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a food processor; process until finely chopped.
  2. Combine egg, oats, Parmesan, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooked mushrooms and turkey mince; mix well. On a cutting board, pat the meat mixture into a rectangle and cut into 30 squares. Roll each square into a ball and place the balls 1/2 inch apart in the prepared pan. Bake until the meatballs are no longer pink and their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, 12 to 15 minutes.



  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook linguine for 1 minute less than directed on package. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  3. Stir in the linguine and the ½ cup of cooking water. Increase heat to medium; cook, leave uncovered, until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in basil.



Divide the linguine and sauce between 4 plates or shallow bowls. Top each serving with 6 meatballs.

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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