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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

pasta + meatballs + pesto + veggies = omg

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yes, I know it's been a while since I posted.

I have been cooking (so I totally encourage anyone who wants to know what I'm cooking from day-to-day to like my FB Page -  :)

Since I'm linking to so many recipes from FB, it seemed like overkill to be reposting my versions of them here.

That said, since I created my own 'recipe' (I use the term loosely) tonight, I felt I had to share.  I've been craving pesto for a few days, and last night, I had defrosted a pack of extra-lean ground I figured, why not make mini-meatballs, and serve with veggies, pasta and pesto.

As a bonus, I visited the farmers' market on the weekend, so I had a surfeit of luscious (and a bit overripe) heirloom tomatoes, some pattypan squash and a whole whack of basil.  EVEN BETTER.

This is a recipe that lends itself well to substitutions.  You could buy the meatballs.  You could make your own pesto.  Really, any mix of veggies that you have would work well.  It's more the idea of the recipe - pasta + pesto + meatballs + veg.  My version is pretty kick ass though.  Just sayin'

shells with pesto and mini-meatballs

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1/2 c finely chopped onion
3 T minced parsley
1/2 c breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1 egg
1 T worcestershire sauce
salt, pepper

1. Combine all ingredients.


2. Preheat oven to 400F.
3.  Form into about 50 mini-meatballs and arrange on cookie sheet (I cover mine with foil because I"m lazy and hate handwashing).


4. Bake for 10 minutes.  Turn the broiler on, and broil for about 2 minutes to brown the tops. (Note: use a digital thermometer to ensure your meatballs have reached at least 71C.  Test 3-4 of the biggest one.  Because nobody wants e.coli!)

everything else:
2 T olive oil
1.5 cups diced onion
3-4 cups sauté veggies (I used zucchini and pattypan squash; but peppers or mushrooms would be great)
2-3 cups chopped tomatoes (or about a pint of halved grape tomatoes....or more)
1 tub bocconcini, chopped into bite-size pieces (optional)
large handful of basil, roughly chopped
1 jar of pesto (I used Classico, which is about 1 cup or so)
1 lb dry pasta (I used large shells....penne, farfalle, etc. would totally work)

1.  While meatballs are baking, put large pot of water on for pasta.
2. Chop your onion and sauté veggies.

3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook onion and veggies for about 10 minutes or so (until they reach your desired softness).
4. Cook pasta according to package directions (and meanwhile, chop your tomatoes, basil and bocconcini).
5. Drain pasta (don't rinse).  Return to large pot (turn burner off).  Combine pasta, pesto, meatballs and sautéed veggies.  Gently stir in tomatoes, bocconcini and basil.



Because it's freaking AWESOME.  I had two servings.  Hubs had two servings.  Lil Z also had two servings, and there are still 5 containers of leftovers left.  This easily would serve 8 hungry people.  I just loved the heartiness of the pasta and the meatballs, with the freshness of the heirloom tomatoes and basil.  And the chewy melty bites of bocconcini were just the perfect little treat.  If you didn't have bocconcini, you could just grate some of your favourite aged cheese overtop (grana padano, parmigiano, etc.).


Tim said...

You should keep blogging here too, because some people don't have Facebook accounts, for privacy reasons. (like me!)

Love your blog. Our family has used several of your recipes in the past. :)

takeaway brisbane said...

Very nice explained recipe. Food looks wonderful on the photos!

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