Category Archives: Pasta

Meatballs

This is the first meatball recipe I tried, and I really like it. The meatballs are very tender and flavorful. The original recipe calls for half the meat to be ground pork, but I can never find it, and all beef is fine. I don’t think the bread really needs to be crustless either; tonight I just put a large roll in the food processor and it all turned out fine.

Yield: About 20-22 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs from crustless French or country-style bread
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground beef (85/15)
  • ¾ cup finely ground Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • spaghetti sauce of choice (I use a jar of three-cheese flavor)

Directions:

  1. Pour milk into breadcrumbs and stir to moisten. Let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Place beef in large bowl. Add parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  3. Whisk eggs in a small bowl; whisk in garlic. Add to the meat mixture.
  4. Add breadcrumbs to meat mixture.
  5. Using hands, quickly and gently mix meat mixture until all ingredients are evenly combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Chill mixture for 15 – 60 minutes.
  7. Form meat mixture into ping pong ball-sized balls, and arrange in single layer in sauce in a large pot or pan. Bring to simmer.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

(Adapted from Epicurious.)

Zesty Penne, Sausage, and Peppers

Eric is starting to cook for us some nights and surprised us with this awesome recipe he found.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups penne pasta, uncooked (⅗ of box)
  • ¾ pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 26-ounce jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • dash of red pepper (optional)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, crumble sausage into large skillet; cook and stir on medium heat 8 minutes or until done. Drain.
  3. Add bell peppers; cook and stir 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  4. Stir in sauce, fennel, and red pepper; cook 5 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Add cream cheese; cook 2 minutes or until melted, stirring frequently.
  6. Drain pasta. Add to sausage mixture; mix lightly. Top with parmesan.

(Adapted from a Kraft recipe.)