Ricotta Meatballs

IMG_1199Hello Spaghetti & Meatball fans–  Made these scrumptious little meatballs when our parents came for lunch on Sunday.  It’s always always fun to cook for my father-in-law Stu.  He so kind. He’ll rave about anything you make.  And so I was pleased when he asked how these little meatballs turned out so tender!  (it’s the ricotta).  So glad you liked them Stu!!

1 large yellow onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tab. olive oil
2 eggs
2 1/2 pounds ground beef (80%)
1 cup parmesano romano
15 oz. carton of ricotta
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tap. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
Marinara sauce

Pour the olive oil into a hot skilled and them drop in the onion.  Cook it 4 or 5 minutes until it begins to brown.  Add the garlic and cook a minute more.  Take it off the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, beef, parmesan, ricotta, bread crumbs and basil. Add in the cooked onion and garlic.  This isn’t the time to politely mix with a spoon.  You really need to squish it all together with your hands until it’s thoroughly combined.

Then take a rounded tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a cute little meatball and place it on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Continue making meatballs with all the beef mixture– you should have about 80!  (you can freeze part of them after they are cooked).

Bake them in at 350 degree oven for 20 -22 minutes until they are nicely browned.

While that is happening, warm your favorite marinara sauce (homemade or in a jar) and cook up your preferred pasta.

Layer it all on a plate and set it on the table.  Delish!


Turkey Meatballs

Hi friends– Larry is doing to the dishes (just one of the reasons I love that guy), so I can sit and write up this yummy Turkey Meatball recipe for you.  These little cuties are tender and savory– really quite delicious.  We had them over pasta tonight with a simple sauce of small cut tomatoes, onion, garlic…  But I was thinking they would make super meatball sandwiches together with some grilled peppers and onions.  Next time.

1 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup bread crumbs
dash pepper
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, minced

Mix all these ingredients well.  Scoop out by small spoonfulls and shape them into cute little meatballs.  Set them out on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake them up at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (depends on how well done you like them).  Serve them up with your favorite pasta sauce over your favorite pasta and dig in!

Pasta with Sausage and Cannellini Beans

Hey there– One of my big favorites is having our kids home at the dinner table.  Since we had our Laurel here for a bit, we sat down to one of her old favorites for dinner. It’s a good mix of proteins with the beans and sausage- over my favorite angel hair pasta– served up with a tomato salad fresh from larry’s garden patch.  Pretty darn good.

8 oz. angel hair pasta (or your favorite pasta!)
2 Italian sausage links (mild or hot)
a splash of olive oil
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2  14 oz. cans petite cut tomatoes*
1 tab. cornstarch
2 tab. fresh basil

Remove the Italian sausage from it’s casing and brown it in a nonstick pan– chopping it  to bits with a spatula. (Add olive oil if the meat starts to stick)  When it just starts to brown stir in the chopped onion and garlic.  Cook 3 or 4 minutes until the onion is browned.  Then stir in the beans and tomatoes.  When it is at a good simmer, shake the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a closed container and stir it into the pan until the sauce is thickened.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.  At the last minute chop the basil to bits and stir into the sauce.  Layer the pasta and sauce on a big platter.

*I like S&W brand petite tomatoes with onion and garlic.

Weekday Spaghetti

Hi all–  When you’ve had a long day and want to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, here’s your recipe.  It tastes surprisingly fresh and tomato-y.  With just a crispy salad and a hunk of bread, it’s dinner!

8 oz. angel hair pasta
splash olive oil
shake salt
3 slices of bacon
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14 oz. cans petite cut tomatoes*
a couple shakes of garlic salt
1 tab. cornstarch
3 tab. minced fresh basil

Cut the bacon into bits and cook it up in a deep pot.  Remove the bacon from the pan, and pour out all put a tsp. of the bacon fat.  Cook the onions in the same pot until brown and throw in the garlic for the last minute or so.  Then pour in the cans of tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes.  Add a bit of garlic salt to taste.  To thicken the sauce a bit, shake the cornstarch in a container with 1/4 cup water to blend and then stir it into the simmering sauce.   Meanwhile, cook the pasta with a splash of olive oil and a shoe of salt.  Stir the basil into the sauce just before pouring it over the noodles on a platter.   Enjoy!

*I really like S&W brand petite cut tomatoes with onions and garlic.

SPAGHETTI by Shel Silverstein

“Spaghetti, spaghetti, all over the place,
Up to my elbows–up to may face,
Over the carpet and under the chairs
Into the hammock and wound round the stairs,
Filling the bathtub and covering the desk,
Making the sofa a mad mushing mess.

The party is ruined, I’m terribly worried,
The guests have all left (unless they’re all buried).
I told them,”Bring presents.” I said, “Throw confetti.”
I guess they heard wrong
‘Cause they all threw spaghetti!”

(from the book Where the Sidewalk Ends)