Recipe courtesy of Ying C Compestine

Spaghetti with Lion's Head Meatballs

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 cup "lite" coconut milk

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 pound lean ground pork or beef

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup minced leek, white and pale green part only

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

2 teaspoons seeded and minced fresh chile pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces spaghetti or spaghettini

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or Thai basil leaves

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest


  1. Combine coconut milk, soy sauce and curry powder in a large saucepan. Set aside.
  2. Place pork or beef, scallions, leek, cornstarch, flour, sesame oil, ginger, chile, and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Knead by hand until thoroughly combined and the mixture becomes sticky. To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate the meatball mixture for up to 2 days.
  3. Divide into 10 equal portions, about 1/4 cup each. Roll each portion into a ball.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the sides. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Bring the coconut-milk mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add meatballs; cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes.
  6. In large saucepot, prepare spaghetti in boiling water as label directs; drain and keep warm.
  7. Spoon meatballs and sauce over spaghetti. Garnish with basil and lemon zest. Serve hot.
  8. Please note this contestant had an almost identical recipe published in Cooking Light Magazine in 2002. It's reprinted online at -- It is her recipe however. Permission might legally have to be gotten from the magazine.